PEPPER PIKE — Tony Hall stepped on the field at Orange Lions Stadium in Pepper Pike on Friday and didn’t look like he was making his first start. He looked like a veteran quarterback for Edgewood in their first Chagrin Valley Conference game of the season.
Hall threw four touchdowns to lead the Warriors over Orange.
The sophomore quarterback started in place of Zach Winchell, who set the Ashtabula County passing record earlier this season. Edgewood head coach Olajuwon Cooper said Winchell stepped away from the team.
“I don’t know the reason,” Cooper said. “We left the door open if he had some personal stuff going on for him to come back. But he decided he’s not gonna come back, so we just have to move on.”
He started the game 8 for 10 with 137 yards passing and three touchdowns. Hall finished 14 for 18 with 203 yards passing and four touchdowns.
It was Edgewood’s first conference win under Cooper and the team’s first road victory since beating Harvey 32-26 on Oct. 25, 2019.
“The guys did a great job of rallying around Tony, but that’s the kind of leader he is,” Cooper said. “This wasn’t too big for him because he grabbed the bull by the horns and said this is my time right now and I’m not gonna let this moment pass.”
Ezekiel Lucas scored three touchdowns to help balance the offense for Edgewood (2-2, 1-0 CVC Chagrin). He scored on runs of 35 and 42 in the second half. He had 20 attempts for 187 yards rushing. He also caught one pass for nine yards.
Cooper thinks his team learned the offense needs to run the ball to set up the passing game for Hall.
“We knew we could use our typical game plan because it’s [Hall’s] first start and he’s a sophomore – a 15-year-old kid,” Cooper said. “So we knew he had to call plays that would be complementary.”
It wasn’t Hall’s first action of the season. He entered the Warriors’ game against Jefferson last week and threw for 47 yards and a touchdown, completing 3 of 3 attempts. But Cooper said it was his preparation that stood out this week and led to his composed play against Orange.
“What Tony Hall does is he goes out every single day, no matter how many reps he gets, and he prepares,” Cooper said. “I knew this moment wouldn’t be too big for Tony Hall because he prepares every single day.”
Edgewood returns home to face West Geauga on Friday.