MARIETTA – Give credit to Marietta's bend-but-don't-break defense as Edgewater sustained too many lengthy drives that did not result in points.
While the Eagles did capitalize on a few scoring opportunities, they didn't do enough. Marietta came up with some pivotal stops before the Blue Devils started using the run game to seize control in the second half as they won 39-24 in a non-region game over the Florida power from Orlando at Northcutt Stadium on Friday.
Canaan Mobley threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns for Edgewater (6-1). Isaiah Connelly rushed for 136 yards on 31 carries. Clark Chase had four catches for 133 yards, but they couldn't find the end zone.
On Edgewater's first drive, the Eagles came up 1 yard short on the Marietta 32.
The Eagles made it into Marietta territory again late in the first quarter before the Blue Devils stopped them on the 35.
Marietta stood firm a third time when Edgewater opened the second half with another long drive that stalled on the 18 when Arik Gilbert delivered a 9-yard sack on fourth-and-3.
“We couldn't finish (Friday) like we have most of the year,” Edgewater coach Cameron Duke said. “You got to finish drives when you get inside the red zone, and you got to put it in the end zone, especially when you play a great team. We'll go back and look at it, and I think we have a real opportunity to improve from this game.”
Marietta (4-1) looked rusty at times, having not played for three weeks.
Harrison Bailey started slow, but he still ended with 211 yards at the half and 285 for the game.
Still, the Blue Devils had the edge in capitalizing on its scoring opportunities. Bailey hit Taji Johnson for a 29-yard touchdown to go ahead 10-0.
After Edgewater scored on a 56-yard pass from Mobley to Chase, Marietta countered when Bailey hit Ricky White for a 42-yarder.
After Marietta stopped Edgewater inside its own territory to start the second half, the Blue Devils reverted to the running game. Kimani Vidal had just 10 first half yards but finished the game with 104 on 16 carries and two touchdowns.
“(Vidal) had some holes in the first half but he lost his balance,” Marietta coach Richard Morgan said. “We talked about keeping his balance and running through the arm tackles and he did that in the second half and it helped us put the game away. We were able to run the clock out, and that's what we wanted to do.”
Vidal's first touchdown was a 35-yard run through the middle that opened a 25-10 lead. His second came from 14 yards out late in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Johnson added his second touchdown in the second half on a 36-yard pass from Bailey.
Edgewater scored twice in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Christian Leary, who also scored on a 44-yard catch-and-run late in the game.