The pickle juice and mustard may never taste as sweet for Edison High junior safety Jack Kosick and his football teammates, following a hot Friday night with an even more feverish finish.
Kosick helped break up three passes and was in on coverage on a fourth-down San Juan Hills reception in the end zone that was ruled out of bounds as the Chargers held off San Juan Hills 24-17 for a dramatic come-from-behind nonleague triumph at Huntington Beach High.
The late heroics of Kosick, who like many Chargers was battling cramps and fatigue down the stretch, helped the Chargers (3-1), ranked No. 10 in CIF Southern Section Division 3, complete a reversal after trailing 17-0 to the Stallions (2-2) not quite 14 minutes into the game.
“Kosick was in on the last three or four plays,” said Edison coach Jeff Grady, whose team lost to San Juan Hills 22-15 in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs last year. “I mean, what a … he’s limping, he cramping … but he just does whatever he can to help the team.”
“I left it all on the field,” Kosick said moments after San Juan Hills turned the ball over on downs with five seconds left at the Edison five-yard line. “I gave everything. I am speechless. We had a crummy first half, but we got in the locker room and figured it out. We changed our defensive plan that we’ve been doing all year to change the momentum of the game. And the offense picked it up and started rolling.”
Asked how he would combat the obvious cramping that forced him to drag his right leg throughout the postgame celebration, Kosick said he would consume pickle juice and mustard to try to achieve hydration.
The Edison defense stopped leaking the final 35-plus minutes at Cap Sheue Field, while junior quarterback Braeden Boyles rebounded from some early struggles to propel the Chargers’ offense in the comeback.
Edison, which fumbled a kickoff reception to set up a touchdown that upped the Stallions’ lead to 17-0 with 10:34 left in the second quarter, lost two additional fumbles to temporarily stymie its comeback mission.
But the Chargers got interceptions from Jake Brown and Bradley Luna, forced a missed 44-yard field-goal attempt, and turned away the Stallions’ 20-play final drive that began after Mike Walters’ nine-yard touchdown run gave Edison its first lead with 6:32 left in the game.
Payton Valentine, Gavin Chiavetta, Trent Fletcher, Bryce Gilbert Jeremy Alcorn, Walters, Kaleb Joyce and Dane Despars also came up big defensively for the Chargers, who were victimized by the visitors’ efficient ground game and an accurate passing attack in the early going.
“[San Juan Hills] was certainly the better team in the first half, no question,” said Grady, who saw his offense net just four rushing yards before intermission. “But we responded. It’s a testament to the kids. They just kept competing, and that’s a sign of a typical Edison team; a team that never gives up.”
Boyles, who gave way to backup Jacob Hanlon the latter half of the second quarter, started the third quarter and heated up. Boyles had nine completions for 182 yards in the second half. He threw for gains of 60, 29, 28 and 22 yards in the final two periods, while also breaking off scrambles of 24 and 21 yards to keep scoring drives alive.
Boyles hit Cole Koffler for a 29-yard touchdown pass that cut the deficit to 17-10 with 6:56 left in the third quarter.
On the Chargers’ subsequent possession, Boyles connected with Nico Brown on a 22-yard touchdown toss that tied the score with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.
“Boyles stepped up for sure,” Grady said.
Brown had eight catches for 92 yards, while Koffler had five receptions for 133 yards to help Boyles finish with 256 passing yards.
Edison 24, San Juan Hills 17
SCORE BY QUARTERS
San Juan Hills 3 – 14 – 0 – 0 – 17
Edison 0 – 3 – 14 – 7 – 24
SJH – Isaoglu 26 FG, 4:24.
SJH – Hobert pass from Jones (Isaoglu kick), 11:54.
SJH – Hogan 3 run (Isaoglu kick), 10:39.
E – Tro. Fletcher 22 FG, 7:29.
E – Koffler 29 pass from Boyles (Tro. Fletcher kick), 6:56.
E – Brown 22 pass from Boyles (Tro. Fletcher kick), :59.
E – Walters 9 run (Tro. Fletcher kick), 6:32.
E – Boyles, 5-33.
SJH – Hogan, 25-75, 1 TD.
E – Boyles, 13-23-0, 256, 2 TDs.
SJH – Jones, 25-37-2, 212, 1 TD.
E – Koffler, 5-133, 1 TD.
SJH – Hobert, 11-79, 1 TD.
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