Sep. 17—NORWALK — Four plays told the story.
It wasn't the impact of four plays, but what they represented over the course of Friday's non-conference game between visiting Edison and host Norwalk.
The Chargers ran 21 plays to Norwalk's four in the first quarter. Edison opened the game with a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive that took 5:35 off the game clock and never looked back in the 34-0 win over the Truckers at Contractors Stadium at the Warren C. Whitney Complex.
"That's been a recipe of success for us for a long time," Edison coach Jim Hall said. "If we can control the line of scrimmage, control the run game, and then we get to control the lock. Keeping their offense off the field is a huge part of that.
"Even though it looks like we're on offense, we're also playing really good defense at the same time by keeping them off the field."
Five plays into the opening drive, Edison (3-2) was faced with a fourth-and-1 from its own 42-yard line. But Hall and the Chargers never hesitated, and Clint Finnen picked up eight yards on the play.
Five plays later, Marcus Medina ran for three yards on a fourth-and-1 at the Norwalk 42. That set up a 23-yard TD run by Luke Blatnik three plays later. The first of four extra points by Nick Strecker made it 7-0 at the 6:24 mark of the opening quarter.
Edison's second drive showed promise, but ended in penalties stalling the drive. But the Chargers were able to force Norwalk (0-5) to punt from its own end zone, giving them the ball at the Truckers' 35.
It took just two plays: a 35-yard run by Clint Finnen, then a 12-yard TD run by Hayden Fry as Edison went up 14-0 with 8:58 left in the half.
Norwalk's best offensive drive of the half ended with a turnover on downs at the Edison 36 with 5:19 left in the first half. The Chargers then moved 64 yards in nine plays as Medina scored on a 5-yard run after he connected with Kayden Bourget on a 22-yard pass. The PAT hit the left upright, but the Chargers led 20-0 with 1:20 left in the half.
Each team traded turnovers to begin the second half, but Edison then removed what doubt was left with a 10-play, 87-yard scoring march that lasted 4:14. Finnen went in from a yard out two plays after Bourget made a 36-yard catch to set it up, and Edison had a 27-0 lead with 1:30 left in the third.
The Chargers closed out the scoring with a 76-yard drive as Akadian Garn scored on a 3-yard run with 5:04 left in the game.
Norwalk had scored an apparent touchdown from Ryan Fox to Payne Flores on a 13-yard pass, but a holding penalty nullified the play.
"Edison played very well, and we didn't respond very well," Norwalk head coach Todd Fox said. "Just not a great evening for us. Edison's offense, we know what they do, and their defense was great. Our hearts were there. I can't fault their effort, we just have to look at ways to get better and get healthy.
"We're moving guys around just to fill gaps and to fill a position to make kids who are Friday night ready," he added. "We'll get back to work on Monday and start league play and try to win each day."
Hall was thrilled to get the shutout from his defense, as the Truckers were coming off 26 points and 500 yards of offense in a loss at Alliance on Sept. 9.
"I just loved the way our kids played on defense," Hall said. "We're not going to outsize anyone, but we play with great pad level and leverage. We know we have to get all 11 guys to the ball, and I thought we did a great job scheme-wise of understanding and defending their offense.
"And they played hard. I think any coach will tell you if you have kids who play hard and fly around, you'r going to have a good defense, and I think we took another good step tonight."
For Edison, Blatnik ran seven times for 47 yards and a TD, while Cy Finnen totaled 63 yards on five attempts, and Clint Finnen added 53 yards on nine attempts. Medina ran 13 times for 56 yards, and was 2-of-6 passing for 58 yards — both to Bourget, who added 43 yards on six rush attempts.
Edison opens SBC Bay Division play at home next Friday vs. Port Clinton.
"It's championship season," Hall said. "We're going to play five conference games, and they are all big. This is the exciting part. We put in the work, and are building and moving in the right direction."
For Norwalk, Jarren McLendon ran 20 times for 101 yards. Flores added 48 yards on four attempts.
It gets no easier for the Truckers, who host state-ranked Bellevue (4-1) in the SBC Lake opener next Friday.
"In tough times, and there's been a lot of tough sledding inside and out, but it shows your true character," Fox said. "I told our guys we know who we are and who they are as people and what our character is. We're a team of great individuals.
"I know they are going to respond and work even harder," he added. "Each week they come out and work a little harder. We're not slowing down or bagging it on this season. We're going to continue to improve int he places we can improve and find our niche."
Edison 7 13 7 7 — 34
Norwalk 0 0 0 0 — 0
EDI — Luke Blatnik 23 run (Nick Strecker kick)
EDI — Hayden Fry 12 run (Strecker kick)
EDI — Marcus Medina 5 run (kick failed)
EDI — Clint Finnen 1 run (Strecker kick)
EDI — Akadian Garn 3 run (Strecker kick)