BAKERSFIELD — This is why Max Schuh left Memorial to call signals at Edison.
The senior quarterback threw for 195 yards and a touchdown, Dasheon Frierson ran for 135 and two scores on 31 carries, and the fifth-seeded Tigers took down No. 3 Frontier 23-7 Friday for the Central Section Division II football championship.
"It's pretty amazing. My plan when I came here," said Schuh, who transferred after his sophomore year. "It was a totally roller-coaster year, but it's why we got here. We persevered."
Edison (10-4) lost close games to powers Bullard, Buchanan and Clovis West in the regular season. But the 17-14 setback to top-ranked Bullard was the last for the Tigers.
Edison made Frontier its fifth straight victim, winning its final three playoff games against higher seeds on the road, including No. 1 Tulare in the semifinals.
"This feels so good," Tigers seventh-year coach Tim McDonald said of the program's first section title since 2002, the year before he took over.
"This team was so resilient. They used what happened in the preseason to not be denied. We had great leadership down the stretch."
Rumors swirled all week that McDonald, the former 49ers defensive back, might step down after this season.
"I'm just going to enjoy this night," he said, flashing a smile and ending the topic.
Schuh completed 16 of 21 passes and had a stretch where he connected on 11 in a row. His lone touchdown pass -- 7 yards to Tevin McDonald -- gave Edison a 20-7 lead at the outset of the fourth quarter.
Tevin McDonald, in his final Tigers game before heading to UCLA, had a night to remember. He rushed 11 times for 43 yards, caught 11 passes for 97 yards, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass.
By far, McDonald stood with the dirtiest uniform on a field that was turned to slippery mud by overnight rains on Thursday.
"Dirty. That's how it had to be," he said. "I'm so proud of this team. We finally got over the bump."
Neither team scored in the first half. They combined for only 161 yards of offense and neither running game was working.
But after intermission, Schuh started finding McDonald, Frierson hit his gaps for big yards and the Tigers scored on all four second-half possessions.
Two Frierson 1-yard runs and a Schuh-to-McDonald 2-point conversion pass made it 14-0. Frontier quarterback Josh Legorreta cut it to 14-7 with an 8-yard run to close the third quarter.
Schuh hit McDonald with his scoring pass to open the fourth, the Tigers forced Frontier to punt and then used 6:17 of the clock on a 15-play, 53-yard drive that culminated in Vadal McDonald's 32-yard field goal with 2:21 left.
Meanwhile, Edison's defense kept repelling the Titans (11-2), with the front four helping to limit Frontier to 47 yards rushing. Legorreta passed for 186 yards with the interception.
"They got some offensive breaks and our turnovers bit us," Titans coach Rich Cornford said after his team reached the final in only its fourth year of existence. "They kept us off-balanced all night."