The school colors for Edison High are green and yellow, but there’s a fair amount of White, too.
Dave White, in his 27th season as head coach of the Chargers, won his first championship Friday at Angel Stadium when his top-seeded team defeated third-seeded Villa Park, 28-10.
On a makeshift stage after accepting the Southwest Division championship plaque, he waved it in the air and yelled, “That’s for you guys, right there.”
In return, his team began chanting, “White, White, White.”
It was Edison's first victory in four championship games under White, who most recently lost the Pac-5 final in 2009 to Servite on a rainstorm-laden night. Friday’s weather wasn’t nearly as bad but was still played under slick and slippery conditions.
The title is the fifth for Edison, which also won in 1970, ‘79, ‘80 and ’85; White was an assistant on three of those teams.
Many thought that when the Sunset League was dropped from what used to be Division I—the now marquee Pac-5 Division—to the Division VI Southwest, that the playoffs would be dominated by the new league.
Newport Harbor (which lost 26-21 to Villa Park) and Huntington Beach lost in the second round, and Los Alamitos in the first.
But Edison (13-1), whose only loss was to Pac-5 finalist Mater Dei—the Monarchs (11-2) play Long Beach Poly (10-3) on Saturday—stood strong with a physical defense and won the battle in all three phases of the game, including offense and special teams.
They scored twice on safeties and forced five turnovers.
Villa Park quarterback Dylan Osborne threw only five interceptions during the season, along with 18 touchdowns, but was picked off four times by Edison.
Edison wasn't perfect. An early turnover by the Chargers deep in their own territory led to Villa Park’s first score, a 10-yard run by Meki Tafuna midway through the first quarter. Tafuna, averaging 5.6 yards per carry with 22 touchdowns going into the game, finished with only 37 yards on 16 carries.
In an ugly moment in the final two minutes, Tafuna was ejected from the game for his role in perpetuating an altercation on the field.
White, typically classy, directed quarterback Aleksander Torgersen to take a knee on four straight plays while poised at the Villa Park 11-yard line.
Villa Park (12-2) lost twice to Edison, including 27-7 on Sept. 6.
After giving up the early score, Edison scored a safety with eight seconds remaining in the first quarter after the Villa Park punter kicked the ball out of bounds; he did so while the ball lay on the turf.
In the second quarter Edison added a 22-yard field goal by Hunter Kelly to make it 7-5. After a Jeremy Maxwell interception return to the 28, Edison took a 12-7 lead on a 1-yard run by Donald Rice on fourth down.
The cushion blossomed in the third quarter to 19-7 on a 20-yard pass from Aleksander Torgersen to Marcus Boyer, and 21-7 on another safety as Osborne was tackled in the end zone by Maxwell and Ahmad Redeemer.
Villa Park, which upset second-seeded—and previously unbeaten—Tustin in the semifinals, 35-34, cut its deficit to 21-10 with a 34-yard field goal by Jason Sanders 18 seconds into the fourth quarter.
But less than four minutes later, Torgersen scored on a 25-yard run.
Torgersen rushed for 70 yards and passed for 116.
Edison’s season may not be over. The Chargers will be in the discussion for a State Division II Bowl Championship berth with section champions Gardena Serra (12-1), Citrus Hill (14-0) and possibly Oceanside (11-1) which plays tonight. A panel of section commissioners from throughout California will meet on Sunday to determine the North and South representatives in the Open, Division I, Division II, Division III and Small School bowl games.