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Edgewood Enters Area-Round Playoff On Heels Of Rushing Performance For the Ages

Edgewood quarterback Jacob Sharff (above) and sophomore running back Carlos Bolton combined to rush for 469 yards and seven touchdowns last week. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

The Edgewood Bulldogs entered last Friday’s playoff opener with the objective of establishing the run.

Not only was it established, the Bulldogs’ rushing performance was truly something to behold. Edgewood rushed for 624 yards and 10 touchdowns in its 75-21 thumping of Tom Bean in their Class 2A Division II Region II bi-district playoff.

“I can’t explain it to be perfectly honest,” said Edgewood coach Ryan Simmons. “We came out and ran the football because that’s what we do along with the play-action pass and stuff like that. It was just one of those magical nights. You don’t get too many nights like that.”

Edgewood averaged 18.9 yards per attempt and scored on runs of 85, 80, 80, 80, 70, 55, 45, 35, 16 and 1 yards.

“I’ve seen kids rush for 300 yards and have seen kids have really big nights as far as an individual performance,” Simmons said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that kind of a rushing performance before in my career.”

Sophomore running back Carlos Bolton (6-0, 180) was the night’s brightest star, rushing for 295 yards and four touchdowns on only six carries.

“The first thing is that he’s an extremely hard worker,” Simmons said of Bolton. “He can do it all. He can run tough if you need him to run tough, he can run around you if you need him to do that. He can do whatever your game plan dictates. I’ve never had a running back this good and I’ve been doing this for 15 years.”

Senior quarterback Jacob Sharff added 171 rushing yards and three TDs, and added a 35-yard touchdown pass.

“Carlos is a special kid, he can run the football,” Simmons said. “Jacob Sharff, he can run. And our O-line, they can block.”

It was an eye-opening performance from Edgewood, which is 10-1 with its lone loss coming to Clarksville in overtime.

“Our kids are playing as a team,” Simmons said. “Their common goal is all the same, they all want to win. They don’t feel like they can be beaten when they come out even though they know on any given Friday it can happen. They take criticism and coaching really well.”

Edgewood finished 5-5 last season, missing the playoffs by just one game, which may be serving the Bulldogs well in 2012.

“They’ve kind of played with a chip on the shoulder all year long,” Simmons said. “(Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine) picked us to finish fourth in our district and we were just unwilling to accept that. They’ve really pulled together as a team.”

Edgewood looks to keep it rolling Friday night against undefeated Nocona, champions of District 5-2A Division II. Kickoff for their 2A D-II Region II area playoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday from Lewisville’s Max Goldsmith Stadium.

“This is going to be a big challenge for our program,” Simmons said. “We’re 10-1, but they’re 10-0. They don’t know what it’s like to taste defeat at this point in the season.”

Friday’s winner will get the victor between Gunter and Tolar next week in a regional semifinal.

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