Edinburgh coach Tyler DeSpain had seen this film before.
And Traders Point Christian definitely watched the same films.
Speedy 5-foot-6 running back Elias Underwood rushed for more than 200 yards and six touchdowns to lead the visiting Knights to a 37-35 victory over Edinburgh Friday night.
“They had a great game plan,” DeSpain said. “They knew what our weakness was. We’ve tried to battle that for seven straight weeks now. You have a team like them that has a decent running back that can run outside and find the holes, it’s tough.”
After battling back from an early 13-0 hole, Edinburgh (4-3) took the lead late in the first half.
Edinburgh senior Riley Palmeter’s 1-yard quarterback sneak on fourth down tied the game at 19-all with 1:22 left in the second quarter. The Lancers then took the lead when Dewey wrested the ball away from the defensive back for a two-point conversion. The TD was set up by Nick Detling’s interception and short return to the Traders Point 5-yard line.
The Lancers kept the Knights (3-4) out of the end zone on second down and goal from the 2-yard line with 4.4 seconds left.
Edinburgh expanded its lead to 27-19 when Landen Burton caught a 12-yard TD pass from Palmeter with 9:50 left in the third quarter. Underwood’s 10-yard TD run narrowed the deficit to 27-25 but the two-point conversion failed with 5:41 left in the third quarter.
With 9:25 left in the fourth quarter, Underwood put the Knights ahead for good with a 6-yard touchdown run at 31-27. A 1-yard TD run by Underwood pushed the lead to 37-27 with 2:01 left.
The Lancers weren’t quite done, with Palmeter connecting with Burton for a 24-yard TD pass with 1:15 left. This time the two-point conversion pass to Braylon Bryant was successful to make it 37-35.
However, the onside kick went out of bounds and Traders Point was able to go into victory formation.
The Knights had grabbed a 13-0 lead in the first three minutes, thanks to a long kickoff to set up a 2-yard TD run by Underwood. Then a blocked punt set the stage for Underwood’s 29-yard touchdown run.
Caleb Dewey caught an 80-yard TD pass from Palmeter after the defensive back fell down on coverage around midfield to narrow the deficit to 13-7.
Underwood’s 34-yard touchdown run boost the Knights lead to 19-7 with 2:16 left in the first quarter. Dewey’s 34-yard TD catch trimmed the lead to 19-13 with just six seconds gone in the second.
“We burned them a couple of times deep with Dewey,” DeSpain said. “They kind of figured out if they continue to go seam coverage with Dewey, we are going to exploit that and go with it. We had open spots but they brought the blitzes at the right time. We had some mental mishaps we normally don’t have. We had a couple of screens that should have been big plays that weren’t.”
DeSpain was happy with his team’s attitude after the rough start.
“We preach all the time that we have to start and finish games,” he said. “We can’t play half the game. I’m pleased with how we fought back. These kids are different type of kids than we’ve had in the past. They fight back no matter if they are down by 20 or down by five. That’s one of the great things about these kids, they will fight back no matter what the score is.