Julius Gillick’s touchdown trio leads Edison past CdM
Edison’s football season got off to an unenviable start.
Between a trip to Hawaii called off due to wildfire and three losses in their first four games, it was shaping up to be a most unusual season for the Chargers.
But, after winning a war in the trenches, the Chargers have clawed back to even ground.
Julius Gillick carried the ball 30 times in a punishing 130-yard, three-touchdown performance, as Edison defeated visiting Corona del Mar 21-7 on Friday in a Sunset League opener at Huntington Beach High.
“He runs hard, very hard,” Edison coach Jeff Grady said of the junior running back. “He doesn’t stop. The first guy rarely gets him down. He drives the pile forward, and it’s fun to watch.”
Edison (3-3) returned to the .500 mark for the first time since it was 1-1 following a 17-0 shutout victory at Lawndale Leuzinger on Aug. 25.
Outside of a lopsided loss to San Clemente, 31-7 on Sept. 15, the Chargers have been a competitive bunch. Even in the game against the Tritons, the score was tied at the half.
Defenders flew to the ball and quickly wrapped up receivers who did make catches. When CdM quarterback Kaleb Annett and tight end Zach Giuliano hooked up for their longest gain of 17 yards, it ended with Hoi Hansen jarring the ball loose and Caleb Kingsbury recovering the fumble.
It was a pivotal moment, as CdM, trailing by two scores late in the first half, had taken over at the Edison 34-yard line after forcing a three-and-out on defense. That was preceded by a brilliant punt inside the right pylon by Annett.
Hansen, a St. John Bosco transfer, credited his teammates for putting him in position to make plays. When he did, they stood out for the physical collisions.
“First, you got to be passionate about football,” Hansen said. “I’m passionate about that, been playing my whole life. It was not really me, it was more like the whole defense doing the job. They’re setting me up for a big hit, to make big plays. Defensive tackles taking up double teams, defensive ends containing, they set me up.”
Noah Thompson and Hansen each had a sack for Edison, which also saw Jake Moore and Jared Schoor account for two interceptions on defense. Colin Pene recorded a sack for CdM (3-3).
The structure of the Edison defense had Hansen around Giuliano much of the night on passing plays. It was a matchup the Sea Kings didn’t shy away from.
“It’s kind of how their defensive structure fits,” CdM coach Kevin Hettig said. “We liked Zach in the passing game in that. Zach popped a couple, he had a couple big plays in there.”
Giuliano had game-high marks of eight catches and 63 receiving yards. Wyatt Lucas led the Sea Kings on the ground with 47 rushing yards.
“We’ve got to find our groove offensively,” Hettig added. “That’s it. We know who we are. We’ve got to be able to execute consistently, all 11 guys on every play.”
The Sea Kings converted on fourth down in the red zone at the start of the final period. Annett found Dorsett Stecker fading to the left corner of the end zone on the scoring play, briefly trimming the Edison lead to 14-7.
Gillick’s goal-line run to cap the ensuing 11-play drive restored the two-touchdown advantage.
A Seattle native, Gillick said he resorted to a close-to-home highlight reel to get ready for the game.
“I was sitting on the bus over, and I was like, ‘I’m going to put on some Beast Quake highlights,’” Gillick said. “I watched the top 50 Marshawn Lynch plays of all time.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Corona del Mar 0 - 0 - 0 - 7 - 7
Edison 7 - 7 - 0 - 7 - 21
E - Gillick 5 run (Bammer kick), 5:33.
E - Gillick 7 run (Bammer kick), 8:37.
CdM - Stecker 5 pass from Annett (Pene kick), 11:45.
E - Gillick 1 run (Bammer kick), 5:36.
CdM - Lucas, 12-47.
E - Gillick, 30-130, 3 TDs.
CdM - Annett, 17-33-1, 126, 1 TD.
E - Niumata, 8-15-0, 108.
CdM - Giuliano, 8-63.
E - York, 4-61.
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