The Crestview High School football team (5-6) fell to Edgewater (10-1) in the Region 1-7A quarterfinals on Friday night in Orlando.
ORLANDO — Credit to the Dawgs. They hung in there.
But four fourth-quarter turnovers would send even the best teams to their doom.
In Friday night’s 31-14 loss to No. 1 Edgewater in the Region 1-7A quarterfinals, No. 8 Crestview trailed just 17-14 when the fourth quarter began, but that’s where the wheels fell off.
Junior safety Kevin Butler returned a Crestview fumble to his own 45, which set up senior running back Isaiah Connelly for a 4-yard score and a 24-14 Edgewater lead with nine minutes left.
Edgewater senior D.J. Hampton hauled in an interception on the ensuing Crestview drive, but after forcing an Eagle punt, the Bulldogs coughed up a second fumble in Edgewater territory.
The haymaker came with less than minute to go. Edgewater defensive lineman Justin Hoskins stepped in front of a screen pass and returned it 44 yards for the game’s final score.
Friday was Crestview’s third straight game with at least four turnovers.
“Truly, it was the same story kept us from winning the game,” Crestview coach Tim Hatten said. “Not being able to get off the field on third down and turnovers. We really played really well for three quarters, but it got away from us at the end. They had a few more horses in the stable than we did.”
Crestview (5-6 overall) managed to claim a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter after quarterback Chase Moulton connected with Marquis McCoy on a 33-yard diving catch that set up Chris Johns for a 1-yard score, but the writing was seemingly on the wall after the Bulldogs lost running back Taylor Scarbrough to left ankle injury on their first series.
Johns played well in Scarbrough’s absence, Hatten said, but Scarbrough accounted for 41% of Crestview’s yards during the regular season and 37% of its points. Losing him was akin to losing its legs.
Still, Hatten was proud of his team’s effort.
“Tonight we didn’t play like an eighth seed,” he said. “We played like a good third-round team and had a battle with ’em. They just made a few more plays than we made.”
STAT OF THE NIGHT: 2015
After three straight years with at least one playoff win, the Bulldogs are headed back to Crestview empty handed for the first time since 2015.
OFFENSIVE MVP: Isaiah Connelly, Edgewater
Connelly toted the ball 30 times for 225 yard and three touchdowns Friday, including two first-half scores, the latter of which proved to be the game-winner.
After Johns’ 1-yard run, Connelly broke free for a 63-yard touchdown on Edgewater’s ensuing possession.
DEFENSIVE MVP: Justin Hoskins, Edgewater
Listed at 6-foot-1, 280 pounds, the senior defensive tackle sure looked fleet of foot when he iced the game with his 44-yard pick-six.
Edgewater (10-1) will host to No. 3 Lincoln (8-3) at 6:30 p.m. CST Friday in Orlando.