Harford Tech has been Harford County’s standard bearer for gridiron success the last few seasons.
Edgewood, however, looks poised to pry that mantle away this fall.
Cobras coach Tim Palmer is certainly a believer after watching his squad fall, 34-0, to the host and undefeated Rams Friday night behind a blistering aerial attack that was guided by junior quarterback Caesar Travers (12 of 20 passing, 203 yards, three touchdowns) and a ball-hawking defense that was paced by senior defensive back Kameron Rankin, who had two interceptions.
“They’re the cream of the crop in the county right now,” said Palmer, whose squad reached the 2A/1A state semifinals a year ago. “They had a good game plan. They’re fast. They’re big. They’re motivated. They’re the cream of the crop in this country right now. We ran into a storm, and you saw the result. It wasn’t our night tonight.”
With the top spot in the UCBAC Chesapeake on the line, Edgewood (4-0 overall, 3-0 UCBAC Chesapeake) rose to the occasion, a week after demolishing a then-undefeated C. Milton squad, 36-0.
Travers hooked up with Isaiah Martin (five receptions for 106 yards) for the first of two touchdown strikes on the night from 27 yards out for a 6-0 lead that eventually ballooned to a commanding 20-0 advantage by halftime. That opening scoring strike on a fly pattern down the Harford Tech sideline followed a 28-yard punt return by Jahmir Torres.
“A big pass play like that; it was huge for us,” Martin said. “Our goal every game is to score a lot of points and do it effectively. We think we can beat everybody off the ball. That was our game plan coming in: throw the ball, and we did that. We executed.”
The same cannot be said about the Harford Tech offense. The Cobras (3-1, 1-1 UCBAC Chesapeake) produced just 41 yards, including a mere 26 through the air despite 17 pass attempts, and had its best drive of the first half end on a high snap the Rams recovered.
“Our linebackers executed on the blitz. Our inside linebackers made sure they contained the inside and our outside (defenders) contained the outside on the flats, and personally myself, I read the quarterback and got to the ball,” said Rankin, who recorded an interception in each half. “This was a revenge game.”
The teams didn’t play on the field in 2021 as COVID-19 concerns with Harford Tech led to a forfeit victory for Edgewood.
The Rams, who lost to Harford Tech in 2019 left no doubt Friday. While the Cobras struggled to move the ball consistently while also being plagued by some untimely penalties and turnovers, the Rams offense produced 14 more points in the second quarter on a 10-yard pass from Travers to Martin for a 12-0 lead with 11 minutes, 47 seconds left in the quarter and a yard touchdown dive from Brandell Stokes with roughly four minutes remaining before halftime.
The second Travers-to-Martin connection capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive that included a short reception and lengthy run by Martin. The Stokes score was largely set up by a 19-yard pitch and catch from Travers to Martin.
“I trust my receivers; I trust them to get open,” Travers said. “I just want to get them the ball in space. I think that this is a statement game where we’re the underdog. We’ve got a lot of potential. I feel we’re going to states.”
Following a fruitless drive from both teams to start the second half, Edgewood pushed its advantage to 27-0 with 4:04 left in the third quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Travers to Torres on a deep crossing pattern.
Harford Tech followed with its best drive of the game, but on second and goal from the 3-yard line, Cobras quarterback Thomas Smith threw his second interception of the game on a pop pass over the middle. Rankin stepped in front of the pass and raced 45 yards before being stopped.
Edgewood then finished off the scoring with a 23-yard run by Isaiah Megginson, right through the heart of the Harford Tech defense, for a 34-0 lead with 4:41 left in the game.
“We’re young; we’re so young,” Palmer said. “We’re trying to rebuild the Cobra magic we had over the last couple of years, and we will. When you run into a buzzsaw like that, it’s going to happen. We’ll regroup and get ready for C. Milton Wright.”
Edgewood 34, Harford Tech 0
Harford Tech 0 0 0 0 - 0
Edgewood 6 12 7 7 - 34
Edgewood - Isaiah Martin 27 pass from Caesar Travers (kick failed)
Edgewood - Martin 10 pass from Travers (run failed)
Edgewood - Brandell Stokes 1 run (John Billy run)
Edgewood - Jahmir Torres 21 pass from Travers (Carson Crouse kick)
Edgewood - Isaiah Megginson 23 run (Crouse kick)