The Central Section’s biggest football enigma has earned a date with its best team.
Eighth-seeded Edison High rode three touchdowns from Shareef Goodwin to a 35-14 victory over No. 9 Stockdale in the opening round of the Division I playoffs on Thursday at Sunnyside Stadium.
The Tigers, who opened the season with five straight losses to top-notch competition before rebounding to go 4-1 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference, move on to face top-seeded Central.
The Grizzlies, who have outscored opponents 379-118 during a nine-game winning streak, host the quarterfinal playoff game at 7 p.m. Nov. 18.
“This is the game we’ve always wanted, quite frankly.” Edison coach Matt Johnson said. “So let’s see how we match up.”
Goodwin, who shares the Tigers’ quarterback duties with Jimmy Gray, helped Edison pull away in the second half.
His 4-yard touchdown run gave the Tigers a 21-7 lead in the third quarter, and his electric 15-yard scoring run put the score out of reach with 1:53 left in the game. Goodwin also threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Tejohn Herrington in the second quarter.
(Teams) better watch out. We’re hungry right now.
Edison’s Shareef Goodwin, who rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another
“I felt like my team needed somebody to push us harder and make sure we end it with a win,” said Goodwin, who rushed for 45 yards and passed for 75. “I wanted to help that happen.
“The losses in the past, it really hurt us, but the coaches motivated us every day. We want to make sure we finish strong, play hard and we can do anything we want. (Teams) better watch out. We’re hungry right now.”
Gray, who started at quarterback and shifted to receiver when Goodwin was under center, also aided the Edison win with a 31-yard touchdown run early in the fourth that gave the Tigers a three-score lead.
“We are a hard-working team,” Gray said. “We started off slow, but at the end, we’re going to pick it up.”
Edison (5-6) opened the scoring with Jaylan King’s 4-yard touchdown in the first quarter and played a mostly dominant defensive first half before giving up a 34-yard touchdown pass by Stockdale’s Jalen Smith to Jacob Ruley with 28 seconds left in the second quarter.
“This team is capable of doing a lot of good things in spurts – it’s been that way all year long,” Johnson said. “The team, we’re unlimited; we have guys. We’re just not putting everything together. I call it the ‘rhythm of the dance,’ and the dance isn’t very good right now. We’re doing the two-step and we’re trying to run the 12-step tango, and we’re not getting it.”