Edison High threw a scare into top-seeded and undefeated Central High in the Central Section Division I football playoffs.
But in the end, the Grizzlies pulled away from No. 9 Edison 42-21 in a quarterfinal at Deran Koligian Stadium on Friday night.
Central (11-0) will host No. 4 Bakersfield on Nov. 16.
The Grizzlies beat Edison 35-7 back in the season-opener, but the Tigers scored 15 straight to tie the game 21-21.
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“We just had to come out and execute,” Central coach Kyle Biggs said. “We weren’t executing very well in the first half. Credit to Edison, they did a good job and play very tough with a good game plan. In the second half, I thought we did a good job executing.”
The Grizzlies were keyed by Quali Conley’s two touchdowns, including the go-ahead 41-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Then it was Noah Gonzales’ interception at Central’s 8-yard line with 6:20 remaining that led to a Trent Tompkins 43-yard touchdown pass to Conley for a 35-21 lead.
“I would’ve been worried if we didn’t respond,” Biggs said, “but it seemed like every time we got punch in the mouth we responded and we found a way to fight back and that’s being resilient and playoffs are about surviving and advancing.”
Gonzales said of the tight game, “It’s definitely a learning lesson. We just got to go in and watch film and see what we messed up on and hopefully fix it for Bakersfield.”