FERRIS — Damian Edwards and the Ferris Yellowjackets might still be running if the clock had not already expired.
The junior running back wasted no time finding the end zone Friday at home against the Franklin Delanor Roosevelt Mustangs. His 35-yard touchdown run on the Yellowjackets' opening drive was the first of four rushing scores in the 43-20 Ferris win.
It was a win that clinched a playoff spot and put (4-5, 3-1) Ferris in a position to play for a share of the District 6-4A crown next week at home against (5-4, 4-0) Wills Point.
"I am very proud of them," said Ferris head football coach Brandon Layne after the game. "They continue to play with great character and effort every week."
Canton also sits at 3-1 in the district and tied with Ferris atop the standings. The Eagles travel to (6-4, 2-2) Dallas Lincoln next week. All four teams have solidified playoff berths.
As a team, the Yellowjackets ran for 320 yards on 38 carries. Edwards once again led that attack, carrying the football 22 times for 239 yards (10.9 YPC). He has now rushed for 1,511 yards on the season and 17 touchdowns.
After rushing for "just" 91 yards in week 1 and 30 yards the following game, Edwards has run for 226, 142, 259, 387 (!), 137 and 239 yards in his last seven outings.
"He makes my job a lot easier. I'll tell you he is a very special kid and he will be the first want to tell you that that offensive line and tight end block their tails off," Layne said. "He has a lot of room to run because of them."
Ferris ran just 47 plays to the 71 of Roosevelt but outgained the Mustangs 421 yards to 373.
Yellowjacket quarterback Kobe Lankford finished 5-of-8 for 63 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while Riley Fagan completed his lone pass attempt for a 31-yard touchdown to Matthew Nunez early in the second quarter. The score put Ferris up 21-0 and provided the Yellowjackets with all of the offense they would need.
Nunez finished the game with five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns.
Xavier Garcia added nine carries for 44 yards and Lankford carried the football six times for 41 yards.
Though he did throw the one interception, Lankford has done an excellent job of taking care of the football during the current three-game win streak. The junior tossed five picks over a three-game stretch that included losses to Crandall and Canton earlier in the season but has just the lone miscue since then.
"He brings a lot to our offense both with his running ability and his ability to manage the offense," Layne said. "He is very agile and very smart with the football."
Andrew Walker had two interceptions for the Yellowjacket defense, which is something that Layne noted he is excited to see continue as they begin to prepare for next week's showdown against Wills Point. That game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
"We just have to continue to grow and we are getting better every week. We are starting to play physically on the offensive and defensive lines. If we can continue that and combine that with our defense's ability to continue to get stops and the offense continue to control the ball and put points on the board, then we should be ok."
*Additional reporting by JT Shipp and Fred Phipps/Daily Light