Throughout our lives there are events that can be described as no other way than perfect.
Making the train while you were running late, perfect.
Finding a parking spot on campus in the middle of the day, perfect.
Hitting a buzzer beater to win the game, perfect.
Going nine-for-nine on the first drive of your collegiate career, perfect.
On a day when Marist football’s performance was far from perfect, third string quarterback Matt Edwards electrified the small, but dedicated, crowd of Marist fans at Tenney Stadium. As no. 21 Dartmouth pushed a 49-0 lead in the fourth quarter, Edwards clocked in 85-yards and a touchdown to tight end Sean Gaffney.
Although his quarterback reign only lasted about four minutes, it was the most successful four minutes Marist football has seen all season. Head coach Jim Parady looked back on the moment he knew the recruit from Georgia would be the right fit for this offense.
“I went over to the high school to visit with him and his personality was through the roof, just a care-free guy and carried himself with a lot of confidence,” said Parady. “I was like ‘he’s the type of guy that I think could be very successful running an offense.’”
While this is only his second season with Parady, Edwards had gained the reputation of a talented, hard-working player on the field. It seemed as though this quarterback decision might be paying off for the Red Foxes.
This 16-yard pass for a touchdown may end up being just another statistic, to Edwards this was a memory. “It was just pure excitement. It was a relief too, but just readiness to play,” said Edwards. “Seeing my family in the stands was really the biggest thing for me, being able to get in while they were there was the coolest part of it all.”
When asked to recall his initial reactions to Gaffney’s touchdown catch, there was no denying the prideful smile that stretched across his face. “I couldn’t believe that, I wondered where my brother was. I was just happy that my family could be there, and that we were able to put a touchdown on the board,” explained Edwards through chuckles and disbelief. It was as if he were replaying the highlights in his own head.
Looking ahead at what’s in store for Marist football, the team goes down South to face Davidson this Saturday. Although Edwards put on a stellar first performance for the Red Foxes, it still hasn’t drastically changed the game plan for Parady.
“He still stayed at three on the chart. I know for him, as a competitor, he’d like to get more snaps and get in there. We have such a limited amount of reps.” Parady continued. “What had happened going into the Dartmouth game was that we had a bye-week the week before, so he had a lot of opportunities in that bye-week. He was able to show very good production which made me comfortable with him.”
For the game against Davidson Austin Day will be the starting quarterback, and as per the usual game plan Luke Strnad will be the second and Matt Edwards may just filter into the game as the third quarterback. Though it may be Edwards dream to take this offense under his wing this season, he fully stands behind his coach’s quarterback decisions.
As confidence and energy oozes out of Edwards, we can still expect to see him supporting his team on the sidelines down in North Carolina. As Parady sticks to his season long rotation between Day and Strnad, Edwards goal for the remainder of this season is to continue to improve, and look ahead to the day where he controls this offense.
“I continue to stay focused, to drive, and to push the team forward in any way that I can. To give my all in any roll that coach gives me, and try to give back to the team that’s given me so much already. To try and be a leader,” said Edwards humbly.
For what seemed like a fairy-tale in the midst of the monotonous story-line titled “Marist Football,” fans can only hope there’s a happy ending. Davidson is only one game, and Parady’s game of quarterback-roulette is keeping people on their toes. While Day is starting the game on Saturday, we may just see Edwards rise from the shadows again to (somewhat) save the day.
Edited By: Sean McGee
Photo By: Marist Athletics
Very well written artricle. It really captured the sentiment of the crowd vs then #21 Darthmoth visit to Marist. Matt Edwards is special…