ORLANDO - Imagine the sound of a hammer continuously hitting a rock. Over and over, chipping away, the hammer will eventually break down the rock until it's in pieces. That would be a good way to describe the powerful blunt force that Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater junior running back Cedric Baxter plays with. He’s a powerful young man that few high school defenders will consistently go right at him to make a tackle.
Perhaps that theory explains the following tweet that Baxter tweeted after Friday’s game.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
A 5-yard carry. A 7-yard carry. Baxter wore out the Jones defense from start to finish, one play at a time. The Edgewater offense proved to be simple. Think of old school Washington Redskins football back in the 1980s and early 1990s. Counters, off tackle runs, and playing downhill. That’s Edgewater, too.
With Baxter as the main man, complexity was not necessary. Just hammer that rock.
Despite being down 14-0 early in the first quarter, Baxter and the Edgewater team just kept on pounding the football. Basic counter plays, inside power plays, mixed in with a few simple passes. The concept for Baxter and his Edgewater teammates was to win by attrition, and it worked, although there was some concern midway through the contest.
During a typical hot and muggy Orlando September evening, Baxter’s legs began to cramp. He never truly overcame the cramps in either leg. What he did do was go out and still give everything he could to the game he obviously loves.
That internal desire to be on the field competing with his teammates probably deserves as much if not more credit than the four touchdown runs or totaling 250-rushing yards. It also helped Edgewater erase that deficit and eventually win in overtime, 52-49.
It was a wild game and one that should be considered a classic. From within that game, Baxter deserves to be given credit for being so talented. He should also be given credit for playing through serious leg cramps and still leading his team to victory. He’s a tremendous football player.
That’s probably why programs such as UCF, Florida State, Ohio State, Florida, Auburn, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Stanford offered Baxter among numerous scholarship offers to play college football. Here's a photo and video reel from Baxter on Friday evening:
If one gains the opportunity to go see Baxter play, go do it. This incredibly talented and determined player should be one celebrated by football fans with going to see him and his Edgewater teammates play.