The play remains eminent in Longmont football lore.
Despite getting lit up on a block so vicious that few players would have gotten up before the play ended, Drew Edwards recovered. He chased a Wheat Ridge ball carrier and made a touchdown-saving tackle, helping secure the Trojans’ berth in the 2009 Class 4A championship game.
Oh, and he did it without his helmet. It was detached during the brutal block.
Not bad for a wide receiver.
Edwards was doubling as a linebacker for the Trojans at the time, but now he’s solely on the offensive side of the ball. The junior is a starting receiver for Division-II Adams State, which entered Saturday’s game against No. 5 Colorado-State Pueblo with a 3-0 mark.
“We point to Drew not necessarily as a college receiver, but just as the type of player we want in our program,” Longmont coach Doug Johnson said. “He’s a great leader, tough as nails, does well in his classes and does all the off-the-field things as well.”
Though he is in faraway Alamosa, Edwards keeps close tabs on the Trojans through his parents.
“My parents still live in Longmont and they still go to the high school games,” Edwards said. “I usually get the text immediately after the game.”
After helping Longmont to an 11-3 record and the trip to the title game as a senior (the Trojans lost 42-28 to Heritage), he moved on to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Edwards redshirted at Adams State his first season, was primarily a special-teams player as a freshman, and now has started the past two seasons. After wrangling in 32 receptions for 410 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore, he began this fall in auspicious fashion.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder caught the Grizzlies’ initial touchdown of the season in a Week 1 win against Wayland Baptist, a 39-yarder from quarterback Cody Davies.
“It’s been great to get back to playing full-time and actually playing football again,” Edwards said.
His thoughts, naturally, were with his family during the floods. It was difficult for him to watch footage of his hometown being overrun by water and he constantly checked in at home.
He felt blessed that his family endured a better fate than many.
“My parents’ house made it out OK,” Edwards said. “My grandparents got evacuated, but there was actually no water damage to them. But seeing the flood on all those videos, it was nuts. I feel bad for the people who lost their houses. The town will bounce back, but it’s going to take some time to repair all the stuff that did happen.”
It’s no surprise to Johnson that Edwards has molded himself into a solid college player. The coach said that it “burned” at Edwards in a positive way whenever he told him he needed improve on something or make modifications to certain on-field habits.
“Drew was always gifted for what he was trying to do, but his will was definitely his number one attribute,” Johnson said. “He hated not being the best at something. It absolutely drove him crazy.”
Edwards, who recorded 66 tackles and caught two touchdowns as a senior at Longmont, said he tries to connect with Johnson when he comes home in the summertime.
Johnson looks forward to such meetings and felt the void when the two were unable to reunite this summer.
“I haven’t seen him for awhile and I’d like to go have breakfast with him and catch up,” Johnson said. “I saw him last season but didn’t get to this summer and I was kind of bummed out about that. He’s like a son to me.”
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