Big plays on offense and making defensive stands were the difference-makers for the Edgewood-Colesburg football team as it steamrolled Lisbon, 44-26, in their Class A, District 5 match-up played on Van Metre Field at Ash Park in Mount Vernon Oct. 4.

Parker Rochford was responsible for many of those big plays as he threw three touchdown passes, ran for another one and handed off to Keegan Hansel the three times he crossed the goal line with the ball.

“We’re improving and that’s what we need to continue to do,” said James Rochford, head coach of the Vikings. “We had a couple of big offensive plays that helped us get a two-score lead and that made it tough for a team like Lisbon who wants to beat you on the ground by taking time off the clock to get back into the game.”

Both teams showed a lot of offensive firepower early in the game. Rochford’s first touchdown pass of the game came on the Vikings’ opening drive when he found Spencer Staner along the left sideline to outrun the Lisbon defense 65 yards for the score.

“That was a great run, a great play by Spencer. It’s no secret that he’s Parker’s favorite target and that Spencer makes big plays for us when he has the chance,” said coach Rochford. “But we have to make sure Parker throws the ball to other receivers especially when Spencer starts to draw extra attention from the defense.”

Lisbon answered to tie the game at 6-6 on a Max Kohl touchdown run.

The Vikings took a 12-6 lead on Hansel’s 3-yard touchdown run that was set-up when Rochford threw a strike to Mason Ashline at the three.

Again Lisbon answered when quarterback Gavin Wollum followed his blockers into the end zone from just outside the goal line and managed to take a 14-12 lead when Jamien Moore converted the try for two points.

“Our players have confidence, but right now that is kind of a double-edged sword,” said coach Rochford. “They don’t necessarily focus on every play, but they showed that confidence when they got down 14-12. They didn’t panic. They knew that we’d come back and we did. It was nice to see that there was no panic in the eyes of our kids. Execution was the name of the game and we were ready and equal to the task.”

The Vikings grabbed the lead for good after Rochford hit Staner in stride in the end zone for their second touchdown pass of the game.

Edgewood-Colesburg added another touchdown before the end of the first half and took a 25-14 lead into halftime.

With that lead and the success, the Vikings were having with the Rochford-to-Staner connection, Lisbon looked to change their fortune by putting an extra defender on the side that Staner lined up on. That created a void in the middle which opened up the Vikings running game for Hansel and Cameron Kirby.

The Vikings outscored Lisbon, 13-0, in the third quarter for 26 unanswered points as they put away the game to improve to 5-1 for the season and 2-0 in district play.

“We’re taking it one game at a time. We know what’s coming but we have to focus on the next game,” said coach Rochford pointing to his team’s upcoming game with MFL MarMac (6-0, 2-0) Oct. 18 that will probably determine who will win District 5. “Beating Lison was big and important to what we want to accomplish this season, but we’re thinking we can’t make the playoffs with a loss.”

Ed-Co’s statistical leaders were: passing — Rochford 10-for-19 for 199 yards and 3 TDs, Jack Wiskus 1-for-3 for 10 yards; rushing — Hansel 17-for-130 yards and 3 TDs, Kirby 14-for-68 yards, Rochford 6-for-51 yards and a TD; receiving — Staner 4-for-139 yards and 2 TDs, Hansel 4-for-27 and a TD, Mason Ashline 1-for-36 yards, Rochford 1-for-10 yards; tackles — Max Bahls 8.5, Ethan Staner seven, Rochford six, Hansel and Kirby four, Spencer Staner 3.5, Jake Jones three, Jordan Wegmann 2.5, Xavier Reeves two, Christian Weston 1.5, Ike Jones and Cameron Knipper one; interceptions — Mason Ashline one; fumble recoveries — Rochford one; kickoff returns — Spencer Staner 3-for-57 yards; punts — Rochford 5-for-108 yards.