Bell Watches Edwards

RALEIGH, N.C. --- Whether it was the inclement weather, 6 p.m. start time, or day of the week, not many people turned out for the Charlotte Latin-Ravenscroft game on Thursday evening. Regardless, the only spectator North Carolina pledge Avery Edwards was concerned with was Walt Bell, UNC's tight ends coach.

"I think any athlete whose future coach is there you want to show him everything you can do," Edwards said. "But I don't think I played very well, so it's disappointing for me. I'm upset and I know I have to keep working.

"Sometimes I would look over there [at Bell] when I was tired and that would give me a little motivation to keep on pushing."

Edwards's stat line tells a different story of his performance – especially when you consider he started at both tight end and defensive end, and rarely left the field. He caught eight passes for 125 yards plus a two-point conversion on offense. Defensively, he had five tackles (four solo), including a sack at the one-yard line.

NCAA rules prohibited Bell from speaking to Edwards while at Ravenscroft on Thursday. But Edwards says that he and Bell direct message on Twitter almost daily. Additionally, Ron West, who recruits the Raleigh area for UNC, called Edwards earlier in the week.

"[West] asked me how school was going and I thought that was nice," Edwards said. "But I'm definitely going to try to get up there for a game. I know they have a bye then Georgia Tech. So I'm going to get to that ECU game."

Edwards was hoping to attend UNC's home opener against Middle Tennessee last Saturday, but his schedule didn't allow it. He plans to be at all future UNC home games starting with its in-state matchup with East Carolina.

Rain fell sporadically during the first half of Latin vs. Ravenscroft, which led to some sloppy play from both teams. Once the rain stopped, distant lighting suspended the contest for nearly an hour with 5:10 left in the second quarter. When play resumed, Latin was able to take a 28-10 lead into halftime.

With dryer weather conditions in the second half, Ravenscroft forged a comeback. Some lucky bounces coupled with Edwards's two-point conversation reception allowed Ravenscroft to score 15 unanswered points and close the deficit to 28-25 with possession late in the fourth quarter. However, an interception followed by a Latin time-killing, touchdown drive cemented the defeat.

"The offense started executing [in the second half]," Edwards said. "We missed a couple of plays early. But I think we really started fighting, which is good. The offense hadn't been clicking all season, so it was good to get a couple of drives going."

Outside of his two-point conversation, Edwards failed to reach the end zone. However, several of his catches sustained scoring drives.

"I don't think I played that well," Edwards said. "Going both ways was tough, but I'll be going both ways the whole season so I have to step that up anyway. But I don't think I played very well. I dropped a couple of balls and I didn't always run my routes hard. But I just don't think I did very well. I got tired."

Despite his fatigue, Edwards reached deep to sack Latin's Daniel Jones at his one-yard line midway through the fourth quarter forcing a punting situation that would give Ravenscroft great field position.

"We tried to get pressure on him the whole night by only sending three or four [defenders]," Edwards said. "We finally sent a linebacker up the middle, which gave me a one-on-one matchup with the tackle. I got by him and the running back and the quarterback rolled out. That was big to help the team get off the field."

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