Second half surge boosts Edison over Highlands
Juan Madrigal and Brian Mattison combined for over 200 yards rushing as the Edison Golden Bears overpowered the Highlands Owls, 36-23, on Friday at Alamo Stadium.
Madrigal rushed for 155 yards and Mattison, the Golden Bears’ quarterback, ran for 114 yards as Edison (3-6, 2-5 District 13-5A-1) scored 30 unanswered points in the second half against Highlands (2-7, 2-5 District 13-5A-1), who led 15-6 at halftime.
After an inconsistent first half, Mattison said he knew the Edison offensive unit would need to play better in the second half for the Golden Bears to win.
“We knew we were messing up in the first half,” Mattison said. “We’re just shooting ourselves in the foot. We knew we could play to our potential. In the second half, we just came out and corrected ourselves and did what we needed to do.”
Mattison credited the offensive line.
“It all starts with the guys up front,” he said. “They did their job, made holes and gave me time to score.”
Edison coach Jesse Monreal agreed.
“I think the key was the offensive line,” Monreal said. “The linemen don’t get much of the credit, but they played tremendous today. We could run anything we wanted, and they blocked their assignments to the fullest.”
Monreal said Edison was more physical in the second half in taking it to the Highlands. Overall, Edison finished with 269 rushing yards.
Madrigal started the Golden Bears’ comeback in the third quarter, scoring on a one-yard touchdown run at the 5:03 mark of the quarter. Mattison then ran it in for the two-point conversion to trim Highlands’ lead to 15-14.
In the fourth quarter, Mattison gave Edison its first lead of the game on a quarterback sneak that resulted in a two-yard scoring run with 7:33 left in the game. Edison went for the two-point conversion and converted on a Madrigal run.
After stopping Highlands on downs at the 6:39 mark of the fourth quarter, Edison took over at the Owls 32. On the ensuing play, Madrigal ran 31 yards for the touchdown. He then added a two-point conversion run to extend Edison’s lead to 30-15.
The Golden Bears sealed the game on a 68-yard interception return by linebacker Jose Prudente with 4:28 remaining in the game.
Highlands took a 7-0 lead on the opening possession of the game on a two-yard scoring run by D’Marrion Gonzales at 8:03 in the first quarter, capping a 12-play drive that covered 63 yards. Gonzales’ scored was set up by a 35-yard pass from Gabriel Saenz to Dre’Chan Moody, who made a great catch in between three Edison defenders at the Edison 17.
Mattison got the Golden Bears on the scoreboard when he went 43 yards on an option keeper for a touchdown with 6:10 left in the first quarter. The point-after kick was blocked, leaving the score 7-6 Highlands.
The Owls upped their advantage to 15-6 in the second quarter on a 20-yard scoring pass from Saenz to Moody. Highlands converted the two-point conversion attempt on a pass from Saenz to David Cruz.
Late in the game, Saenz and Moody connected on another scoring pass, from four yards out on a fade route, with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring for both teams.
Edison outgained Highlands in total yardage, 309 to 239. Penalties were also a factor in the game. Highlands was penalized 15 times for 110 yards, mistakes that erased big plays for the Owls. Edison also had several penalty flags called against them, totaling 80 yards.
Highlands and Edison end their seasons this week. Highlands plays Brackenridge on Thursday at 7 p.m., while Edison takes on Jefferson on Saturday at 2 p.m. Both games will be at Alamo Stadium.
Monreal said his focus this week will be to prepare his team to beat longtime rival Jefferson.
“We got a mission, we got to get ready and I want to them to finish strong,” the Edison coach said. “I want them to leave it on the field. I don’t want them to have regrets. That’s what I mean finish the season strong.”