Edison, and Johnny Sears, move on with 34-21 win

It got a little sloppy at the end, but the Edison Tigers, with Michigan commitment <b>Johnny Sears</b> leading the way, took care of business Friday with a 34-21 victory in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation Central Section playoffs. And GoBlueWolverine Magazine was there!<br><br> Are other schools starting to notice Sears?<br>

Edison High School in Fresno, Calif. began its playoff run this past Friday, squaring off against Clovis, Calif. High School on a chilly evening at McLane High. Michigan recruiting fans will remember Clovis as the home of linebacker Zach Follet, an early Michigan target at linebacker, who also plays running back for the Cougars.

Edison is a team with three Division 1-A-bound players on its roster -- quarterback Arkelon Hall is bound for Washington State; cornerback Robert Peele is heading to USC; and cornerback Johnny Sears will don the Winged Helmet of Michigan.

Sears received his Michigan offer, and committed, before ever stepping on the field for a varsity game. Immediately after his announcment for the Wolverines, USC came calling and tried to get him to reconsider for the Trojans; Sears was having none of it and stated that he was firm for Michigan and that he wore his No.2 in honor of former Michigan great Charles Woodson, now with the Oakland Raiders of the NFL.

The 6 foot 1, 170-pound Sears has had a monster season so far. Edison is 8-3 on the season, it's losses coming against teams that rarely throw the ball. For the season Sears has seven interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. "For him to have seven interceptions is incredible," Edison Head Coach Tim McDonald said. "Teams just don't throw on us a lot, we've lost to two teams that didn't throw at all, so that number is amazing."

Clovis head coach Larry Kellom talked about Sears before the game. "We knew about Sears' talent before the season," he said. "I would imagine he will be attacking us more than we will go after him."

Michigan defensive back coach Ron English, who recruited Sears and took the risk of offering him before he played this season, was on the sidelines for Edison game against Sanger Nov. 5. "He had one interception for a long runback during that came," Edison defensive backs coach Tony Perry said. "Ron said he was really impressed with the way Johnny broke to the ball."

GoBlueWolverine Magazine first saw Sears this past summer. We were immediately impressed with the way he moved and with his hands. Before Friday's game we had seen him play in three games and continued to be wowed by the raw talent Sears exhibited. Though it was noticed he does have some fine-tuning to go through, he definitely has the skills to play at the next level.

Edison began the night primarily on the ground. When they did go to the air Hall's main target was wide receiver Andre Horn. The first quarter was quiet as neither team scored. However, Sears showed yet another aspect of his skills and he laid a bonecrushing block on a Clovis defender during a punt return. The block sent Peele off on a 40-yard return.

Clovis began the second stanza with a fumble that was recovered by Edison on the Clovis eight-yard-line. Three plays later Hall connected with Anthony Anderson on a seven yard pass to put the Tigers up 6-0. The try for two failed. On Clovis's next possesion an Adam O'Daniel pass was picked off by Edison's Terrance Williams and brought back to the Clovis 31. Edison scored again after five plays when Rashaad Green punched it in from the one. Hall scored on the extra-point to put the Tigers up 14-0. Sears had yet to see any action in the game, but that was about to change.

After forcing a Clovis punt Edison was on the move once again. On the sixth play of a drive that began on their own 25, Sears finally got the call. On a third and one from the Clovis 41, Hall took two steps back and fired a rocket to Sears in the left flat, and he was off. Sears showed great acceleration as he darted past a Cougar defender, who just caught enough of the speedster to force him out of bounds at the 17. After a holding call moved the Tigers back to the 27, Hall once again went to Sears after being forced out of the pocket. He fired a strike to Sears, who was on the Clovis two. After the catch he turned and put a nice move on the Cougar defender before diving into the endzone for the touchdown with 1:10 remaining in the half. A personal foul on Edison after the touchdown forced Nathan Jones to kick a 40-yard extra point, which he made with ease. Edison went into the locker room at halftime up 21-0. For the half Sears had two catches to go along with his huge block, and one tackle.

Edison took the ball on the kickoff to start the second half and promptly marched down the field, culminating a nine-play, 67-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Hall to Dalen Mason. During the drive Hall was forced out of the pocket once again. Sears reacted and left his defender flat-footed and got wide-open, but Hall didn't see him and threw an incomplete pass out of bounds. The play brought up a fourth and seven, and McDonald made the decision to go for it. Hall dropped back and immediately looked for Sears, threading the needle through traffic to hit his sure-handed receiver and gain the first down. Sears showed the ability to concentrate on this play as he was surrounded by Clovis defenders. With the drive kept alive by the catch, Edison went up 27-0 after the touchdown, with 7:26 remianing in the third quarter, and appeared to put the game away.

Clovis finally got on the board after a 10-play, 63-yard drive finished with a 13-yard touchdown pass in the end-zone. The third quarter ended with Clovis caughing the ball up yet again. The Edison defense forced a sack and O'Daniel fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Tiger Nick Thurston on the Clovis 23 with 13.7 seconds left in the quarter. The period ended with Edison up 27-7.

The Tigers wasted no time putting the ball in the endzone to go up 34-7 with 11:55 left in the game. On Clovis's next drive Sears once again showed his speed an ability has he raced across the field to knock down an O'Daniel pass just in front of the Cougar recevier. On the next play, Sears shucked a blocker to make the tackle and force a Clovis punt.

Clovis scored twice in the final moments of the fourth quarter. On the last touchdown Sears once again displayed his amazing speed, darting across the field to assist on coverage, but arriving just a split-second late as the Clovis receiver made the catch between Sears and another Tiger defender for the score. The game ended 34-21 for Edison.

After the game Sears talked about the game. "We got a little sloppy at the end, but it was a good game," he said. "We have to keep from making mistakes if we want to go all the way."

He also said he was still getting calls from other schools. "Washington State calls every week," he said. "Cal has started calling more too, but I'm not going anywhere other than Michigan." Coach Perry said he believes the Bears have extended an offer to Sears, but wasn't sure. Sears said he didn't know of an offer.

Edison moves on to play Clovis West this Friday. In their regular season meeting the Tigers stomped the Golden Eagles 45-13. However, Clovis West did defeat Concord De La Salle 30-12 their first game of the season and are undefeated since their loss to Edison.

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