HUNTINGTON BEACH -- It wasn't complete self-destruction because, well, time ran out.
The Edison Chargers survived a hectic final minute Friday night, escaping Sheue Field with a 10-7 win over Los Alamitos in the Sunset League opener. Edison nearly lost a fumble, had a punt blocked and was flagged for roughing the kicker on the potential game-tying field goal -- all with under a minute remaining.
Los Alamitos got new life after the missed 37-yard field goal and, with 13 seconds left, had the ball at the Chargers 10. The Griffins, without timeouts, handed the ball off to shifty back Cody Paul on a draw up the middle. He was tackled at the five and the seconds ticked off, one by one. Appearing dazed, Los Alamitos didn't even line up for another play.
Afterward, Edison coach Dave White could joke about it.
"We tried to give it away," White said, grinning.
The win improved the Chargers' chances of taking back the Sunset League crown from defending champ Los Alamitos. Edison (4-2) avoided its third straight loss and second straight heartbreak.
"The finish was nerve-racking," said Edison quarterback Chase Favreau, who had 80 yards rushing on 16 carries.
With the rush attack working, Favreau was credited with only three pass attempts, which he was perfect on for 58 yards. Tailback Elijah Herrera added 80 yards on the ground but eight penalties slowed the offense at inopportune times.
Edison's touchdown came in the second quarter, courtesy of the defense. Los Alamitos quarterback Dylan Lagarde’s lob to top target Kyle Roberts was picked off at the goal line by Sedric Hill.
"Once I caught the ball I had to run for my life," Hill said. "It was a big play."
Hill, with a convoy in front of him, returned the interception 100 yards for the score.
The Griffins (4-2) had their chances. They took the opening drive 64 yards to the Edison 16 but stalled, failing to convert on a fake field goal pass. They took the ball 75 yards on their second drive but turned the ball over on downs. Really, it could have been far worse for Los Al had Edison taken care of the football. The Chargers ran it 15 consecutive times on their first possession, and it appeared as if the strategy might work. They were a yard away from scoring when Herrera coughed up his first-down carry and the Griffins recovered. Favreau lost a fumble on the very next drive.
Paul, who finished with 145 yards rushing in 28 carries, capped a 68-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown to tie it at 7-7 late in the third quarter. But the Chargers regained the lead, 10-7, on a 32-yard field goal by Aleksander Torgersen, setting up the craziness that was the fourth quarter.
"We had lost a lot of confidence," White said. "We needed this one badly."