EDON – Way back in 1985, the Chicago Bears used their first round draft pick to draft a defensive lineman out of Clemson by the name of William Perry, a.k.a. ‘The Refrigerator’. As a longtime Green Bay fan, I recall quite clearly Mr. Perry lining up in the backfield in front of Walter Payton, taking the handoff from Jim McMahon, and literally flattening Packers’ linebacker George Cumby on the way to scoring a touchdown. Behind their two-way celebrity, the Bears went on to crush the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Those defensive lineman types make for impressive battering rams on the other side of the ball.
Fast-forward 27 years to October 26, 2012. The Edon Bombers, in need of a win over a visiting Gibsonburg squad and wins by Cory-Rawson and Toledo Christian to have a shot at the playoffs for a second consecutive year, also turned to an offensive ‘secret weapon’ in a defensive lineman’s uniform. That secret weapon was none other than senior Matt Cook, who blasted through for two touchdowns, while fellow senior Reid Bowling ran in another two scores to lead the Bombers to a 44-20 win over the Golden Bears.
It was Bowling who opened the scoring on the night as he ran the ball in from 43 yards out to put the Boys in Bomber Blue up by six after the PAT failed. With 7:22 left in the first period, the Bombers lit up the Bear defense again when Kaden Sapp found Brock Thiel for a 44-yard touchdown hookup. The Bowling PAT run made it a 14-0 game.
Gibsonburg got on the board with 5:09 remaining in the first period on a six-yard pass play. The PAT kick ended the first period scoring with Edon up, 14-7.
Bowling upped the ante with a nine-yard touchdown run with 9:27 left in the half. His PAT run expanded the lead to 22-7, but Gibsonburg had an answer. With 4:59 remaining in the second, the Bears drove the ball in from a yard out to close the gap to 22-14 after the PAT kick. Not content to let momentum swing the direction of the visitors, the Bombers drove down the field, and with 49 seconds remaining before the intermission, Bomber Head Coach Scott Staten pulled out his secret weapon. Cook took the handoff and blew through the Gibsonburg line for a one-yard touchdown run.
Fellow senior Dakota Parrish hauled in the two-point PAT pass from Sapp, making the score 30-14 at the half.
The first half of the third period saw neither team making an offensive impact, but as the latter part of the period was underway, so was an Edon drive. That drive culminated in another one-yard rumble from Cook to up the score to 36-14 at the 4:17 mark. Mike Peeples’ PAT boot added the 37th point for the Bombers, who took the 23-point lead into the fourth.
The Bears cashed in on a lightning bolt in the form of a 48-yard touchdown pass with 11:10 left in the game narrowed the deficit, but the PAT failed and Gibsonburg could come no closer. Less than 60 seconds later, the Bombers repaid the Bears in kind, torching their secondary with a 65-yard Sapp to Thiel dagger for the final touchdown of the night. Peeples’ PAT boot closed out the scoring with the Bombers prevailing, 44-20.
Even though the cavalry never came over the hill from Cory-Rawson and Toledo Christian, the Bombers put on a show on Senior Night that sent the Edon faithful home happy, and sent the Bomber senior staff out on top as winners. Bowling led the ground attack with 19 rushes for 115 yards and two scores, Cook added another two touchdowns, and Parrish hauled in a PAT deuce. Sapp was 6 of 12 for 163 yards and two touchdowns, and Thiel hauled in three passes for 130 yards and a pair of scores.
Ben Brown and Justin Kirkpatrick joined their senior brothers Cook, Parrish, and Bowling at one of the best places to be…celebrating a Bomber win under the Friday night lights at Leanne Field.