High school football: Big plays lead Edgewood past CJ

Chaminade Julienne quarterback Jonathan Peltier broke a tackle, saw over 90 yards of open field in front of him and ran the fastest he figures he ever has for a 99-yard touchdown. The play tied the score 14-all against Edgewood just before halftime.

But from the start of the second half, Edgewood got in CJ’s way and reasserted itself with a long touchdown run to emerge with a 35-21 nonconference victory at Roger Glass Stadium.

“I hit the hole, broke one tackle, got the stride and didn’t look back,” Peltier said. “It was just eyes forward and run as fast as I can.”

Peltier knows how to run. He used to play wide receiver and he’s a shortstop. When Earl White became the head coach he brought the double-wing running offense with him that helped him win over 100 games at Belmont and Thurgood Marshall and make eight playoff appearances.

“We’re still getting used to this new offense,” Peltier said. “We’re getting better every week. We had a few hiccups tonight. We’ll get back to practice Monday and get it all cleaned up and get better.”

Peltier showed he can throw the ball well when the Eagles (3-2) had to turn to their two-minute offense after falling behind 28-14 in the third quarter. He completed 8 of 21 passes for 135 yards, one interception and a 10-yard touchdown pass to Caleon Russell in the fourth quarter.

“They executed their scheme better than we did and they run a very similar type system that we do,” White said. “And they’ve been running it a lot longer than we have, and it kind of showed.”

Edgewood (4-1) played without leading rusher Tavionne Crosby, who was out because of concussion protocol. In his place, Jake Valerio, Braden Sullivan and Clay Halsey made big plays and earned key first downs with tough running. Sullivan scored on runs of 53 and 32 yards to build a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

CJ fought back with a drive that ended with Peltier bulling in from the 3-yard line with 5:11 left in the half to cut Edgewood’s lead to 14-7. The Cougars later recovered a fumbled punt at the CJ 10. But the Eagles’ defense stuffed the Cougars on fourth-and-goal from the 1. On the next play, Peltier followed his blockers through the right side for his 99-yard touchdown run with 42 seconds left in the half.

“We were feeling good,” Peltier said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy because Edgewood was a great team and is very well-coached. They’re a hard-nosed football team.”

The Cougars responded in the third quarter. Valerio scored on a 54-yard run and Halsey scored from the 2 to build a 28-14 lead in the third quarter.

“Edgewood just imposed their will physically on us and we’re pretty young defensively,” White said. “And it’s a new offensive system and we’ve got a learning curve.”

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