HUNTINGTON BEACH -- Edison coach Dave White put off the media for a moment. He went looking for Trent Mason, the Dana Hills quarterback. He finally found him at the end of the line as the two teams shook hands.
“You're one of the best players we've played against, and I've been doing this 32 years,” White told the quarterback.
Then, with tape recorders rolling, White called Mason “a one-man wrecking crew.”
A wrecking crew that wasn't enough to spur Dana Hills to victory. That belonged to Edison, which scored a 27-21 defeat of the No. 25 Dolphins (2-1). But enough of a wrecking crew that the 21-0 lead by Edison (3-0) was in serious jeopardy as the minutes wound down.
Mason, a safety as well as a quarterback, had a chance to lead the Dolphins to an improbable victory after their first four possessions of the game ended with a fumble, an interception, a sack on fourth down, and another fumble.
But with 2 minutes 53 seconds remaining at Huntington Beach High, Mason had a final chance to lift his team. Beginning from the 30-yard line, he completed an eight-yard pass to Eddie Flynn, and after an incompletion, ran for 18 yards, then one yard to get to the Edison 38. His screen pass to the dangerous Chris Kearney lost three yards because of the big hit by linebacker Michael Douthwaite. Another pass was broken up by linebacker Roland Blackiston. And on fourth down, Mason's legs were wrapped up as his protection broke down and he flung a desperate pass into the ground.
“We stepped it up on that last drive,” White said.
Mason finished with 104 yards passing and 136 yards rushing on 17 carries. He was difficult to bring down even though he was hit often and hard, but continued to pick up yards after contact.
But it was the defense of Edison's that set the tone. Dana Hills receiver Tyler Shirozono was stripped of the ball and Gavin Perdomo carried the loose ball 12 yards for a 7-0 lead. Robert Mase sacked Mason our fourth down from the Edison 34, which preceded a 19-yard toucheown run by Edison junior quarterback Chase Favreau. And Mason's fumble at he Edison 46 preceded Favreau's 31-yard scoring pass to Troy Baljeu for a 21-0 lead.
After Dana Hills scored on a 12-yard pass to Shirozono, Edison's Nicholas Masaniai capped a 58-yard drive with an 11-yard run, but the point-after was missed, setting up the late-game heroics led by Mason, who either passed or ran on 28 of the next 31 plays – two of the exceptions being two-yard scores by Kearney.