The Blue Raiders must now be satisfied with a 6-4 regular-season record for the start of postseason play this weekend.
Cleveland will travel to Lawrence County Friday for a first-round game in the playoffs, with brackets released early Saturday by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association.
Lawrence County is a No. 3 seed, while the Raiders are a No. 6 seed. Game time for all playoff games is 7 p.m.
Coach E.K. Slaughter was very disappointed with the play of his Raiders Friday night against his former team. “It was disgusting and disappointing,” he said after the game.
Asked what it felt like to return to Soddy-Daisy and lose like his team did on Friday, Slaughter said, “I didn’t enjoy it one bit.”
Despite his frustrations, the Cleveland coach had praise for the Trojans, especially Edwards. “32 (Edwards) is a great football player,” he said. Slaughter also complimented the Trojans’ offensive line for opening holes for more than 400 yards rushing.
Although his disappointment was evident, Slaughter continues to be optimistic about his team’s opportunity in the postseason.
“We have a great group of coaches and some great kids,” he said. “Although we didn’t play well tonight, we’re going to do some great things in the playoffs (because of this game).”
Edwards, who is only a junior, was a one-man wrecking crew for the Trojans. A strong, swift runner, Edwards gained 357 yards on 35 carries and scored three touchdowns. He ran through, and around, and shook off Cleveland tacklers.
The Cleveland team came out very lackluster in the first half, and never got its offense going until after intermission. The Raiders had only three first downs and 74 yards total offense at halftime ... getting only seven yards rushing over the first two quarters.
Soddy-Daisy took the lead in the first quarter when Edwards scored from three yards out. The touchdown capped an 83-yard drive on the Trojans’ first possession, with Edwards getting 64 yards.
The two teams then settled down to a defensive standout. Realizing the game was going to be a tough task offensively, Cleveland went for first downs several times on fourth down ... but came away empty-handed each time.
The score could have increased in the Trojans’ favor, except for two big fumble recoveries by Nate Bradford and Barrett Thompson
Bradford got his recovery on Soddy-Daisy’s second possession at the Cleveland 20. Thompson got his recovery at the bottom of a huge pileup when the Soddy-Daisy quarterback bobbled the football and lost it on a scamper to the left.
The Raiders almost got out of the half facing only a 7-0 deficit. Receiver Talon Harris leaped high for an 8-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Trevor Card on the final play of the second quarter and the Trojans went to the dressing room with a 14-0 advantage.
The Raiders scored early in the third quarter to cut the Soddy-Daisy lead in half. Bradford scooped up a third Trojan fumble and galloped 29 yards for the score. Ben Kimball’s extra point kick had the score at 14-7.
But, Soddy-Daisy met the challenge and came right back with a matching score. Edwards got the six points on an 18-yard run.
Cleveland scored again before the end of the third quarter to revive hopes of a big comeback. Jamarcus Mobley got the touchdown on a 12-yard run and Kimball’s kick got the Raiders within seven points again at 21-14.
The roof then fell in on the Blue Raiders at the start of the fourth quarter, with the Trojans scoring on three straight possessions.
Chris Smith concluded a drive by the Trojans in the opening minutes of the period, taking a 5-yard pass from Card.
A fourth-down gamble by Cleveland near midfield, which failed, led to the next Soddy-Daisy score. Taking over the football at their own 49, the Trojans scored in four plays. Edwards scored again on a 41-yard run.
Soddy-Daisy, with a 21-point lead, then rushed a number of reserves into the game. Spencer Stewert got the home team’s final touchdown when he broke loose on a 64-yard run down the right sideline as the score ballooned to 42-14.
With the game out of reach, the Raiders used freshman quarterback Austin Herink and several reserves over the final six minutes.
Herink was impressive in relief. He connected on eight of 13 passes for 134 yards, getting a touchdown on a 44-yard throw to Robert Pillow. The Raiders were inside the Soddy-Daisy 10 when the final horn sounded, but most of this late damage was against the Soddy-Daisy reserves.
Slaughter said this week’s practice sessions will be must the same as in the past as his team prepares for its postseason debut Friday.
Cleveland 0 0 14 7 — 21
Soddy-Daisy 7 7 7 21 — 42
SD — Cedric Edwards 3 run (Luke Underwood kick), 5:04.
SD — Talon Harris 8 pass from Trevor Card (Underwood kick), :03
C — Nate Bradford 29 fumble recovery (Ben Kimball kick), 9:18.
SD — Edwards 18 run (Underwood kick), 5:58.
C — Jamarcus Mobley 12 run (Kimball kick), 3:37.
SD — Chris Smith 5 pass from Card (Underwood kick), 9:47.
SD — Edwards 41 run (Underwood kick), 6:10.
S-D — Spencer Stewert 64 run (Underwood kick), 3:39.
C — Robert Pillow 44 pass from Austin Herink (Kimball kick), 2:59.
First downs 15 19
Rushes-Yards 27-111 47-419
Passing 223 84
Total Yards 334 503
Comp-Att-Int 14-29-1 8-15-0
Punts-Avg. 2-42 1-26
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 3-3
Penalties-Yards 11-100 7-52.5
Rushing: Jamarcus Mobley 19-69 TD, Chad Voytik 7-34; Lebron Sadler 1-7 (C). Cedric Edwards 35-357, 3 TDs (SD).
Passing: Chad Voytik 6-16-1 89; Austin Herink 8-13-0 134 (C). Trevor Card 8-15-0 (SD).
Receiving: B.J. Davis 7-111, Jeremy Simpson 3-19, Lebron Sadler 2-14, Robert Pillow 1-44 TD, Brandon Strickland 1-35 (C). Talon Harris 5-57 TD, Daniel Crawley 2-39, Chris Smith 1-5 TD (SD).
Records: Cleveland 6-4, 5-1 District 5-AAA; Soddy-Daisy 6-4, 4-2 district 5-AAA.