Deavin Edwards is the definition of a running back running amok. The senior running back and safety for the Ladue Horton Watkins football team has been one of the most dangerous and dynamic players on the gridiron this fall. He’s scored 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1,152 yards on 102 attempts. That’s more than 11 yards every time he’s handed the football.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Edwards is a battering ram for the Rams. A between-the-tackles runner with sprinter speed, he’s one of the many reasons Ladue heads into Saturday’s district opener at MICDS a robust 5-2 and riding a five-game-win streak.
Yeah, you read that right. Saturday, Ladue heads up Warson Road for its first postseason game. It should be one of the best games of the season, as MICDS enters 7-0 and playing some of the best football in the state.
Ladue, which hammered MICDS 49-14 last year, will get its toughest test of the season on Saturday. The last five games against its Suburban East Conference rivals and Duchesne High School, Ladue averaged 47 points and allowed an average of eight. The Rams even shutout McCluer South-Berkeley High School and Affton High School. With standout wide receiver Jehu Chesson drawing attention through the air and Edwards pounding away on the ground, Ladue has a deadly offensive combination. “They’ve got a good one-two punch,”
MICDS coach Josh Smith said. “You can’t take any one thing away from them. We’re going to try and score points.” MICDS has put up points with the best this fall as it’s averaging 41 points per game and allowing 18. Something has to give when these two juggernauts collide on Saturday. That something might just be whether or not Edwards, 17, can continue to grind up the yards on the ground and keep that explosive MICDS offense the only place Ladue wants it—on the sideline.
After getting chin checked at Parkway Central High School and St. Louis University High in the first two weeks of the season, Ladue has devoured the rest of its schedule. Edwards says that those games have been crucial in preparing this team for the postseason. “We’ve been getting more confident as a team,” he says. “It’s been great. Our young guys have stepped up.”
Smith agrees that from this point forward, things are different. There’s no way to sugar coat it. These next three games determine your postseason fate. Love it or not, this is the system Missouri uses. Those first seven games were just a long prelude. “It changes because there is more on the line,” Smith says. “We don’t want our kids to get too high or too low. It’s the most important game because it’s our next game.”
For Ladue to be successful, it will need Edwards to continue doing what he’s been doing. For his part, Edwards goes out of his way to credit the offensive line for clearing the path. Without those beasts up front, he’d be road kill. “The offensive line has been doing a good job of blocking,” Edwards says.
Though his roots are at running back, which he’s been playing since the age of 7, Edwards is a starting safety for Ladue. He likes scoring touchdowns, but putting a good, clean lick on an opponent gets him pumped up too. “I like hitting people,” he says with a laugh. On Saturday, he and his Ladue teammates will take their best shot at MICDS. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.