Fresno Edison D1 South Preview

The Tigers (12-1) travel to Oceanside (13-0) for a Friday 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable throughout Southern California. For more on Oceanside, CLICK HERE.

By Devin Ugland
Special to

Head Coach: Matt Johnson (2nd season, 21-3 overall)
Section: The Tigers won the CIF Central Section Division I championship, 21-14, over Liberty of Bakersfield.
League: Tied for County/Metro title (4-1) with Sanger
Gold-Tiger-Logo-IICal-Hi Sports Top 25 overall state ranking: No. 12
Cal-Hi Sports bowl game ranking: No. 9 (Division I South)
CIF Bowl History: Edison is playing in its first CIF bowl game.
Best Win: A 15-14 week 2 win over defending Division I state champion Bakersfield is Edison’s signature win on the season although Liberty (the team the Tigers beat last week) ended up beating Bakersfield twice.
Key Players: QB Hunter Swearingen (6-1, 167, Sr.), RB Khai Williams (5-11, 172, Sr.), RB DeAndre Lockhart, WR/DB Tyler Horton (5-10, 180, Sr.), WR Kamron Lewis (6-3, 177, Sr.), DB/WR/QB/RB A.J. Greeley (5-11, 175, Sr., Verbal to Fresno State), LB Chris Allison III (5-8, 179, Sr.), DB William Lee (5-7, 160, Jr.), CB Juwan Murphy (5-10, 175, Sr.), DE Anthony Shepard (6-2, 200, Sr.), DT Leevel Tatum (6-2, 260, Jr.).
General Offense: Edison doesn’t compile its stats until the completion of the sea-son, but will run the ball with Khai Williams, A.J. Greeley and DeAndre Lockhart 60 percent of the time in a traditional pro-style offense according to head coach Matt Johnson. Greeley, who has verbally committed to Fresno State, can literally do it all. He’s seen time at running back, wide receiver, and quarterback. The ma-jority of the throwing duties will be on the arm of senior Hunter Swearingen. Edi-son likes to use the tight end in a pass-catching capacity, but can also run a spread with four wideouts.
General Defense: Edison runs a base 4-3 defense with two hybrid rushers in sen-ior defensive end Anthony Shepard and junior defensive tackle Leevel Tatum. The secondary is filled with college-level athletes led by the aforementioned Greeley. Juwan Murphy is the Tigers’ lockdown corner and junior William Lee and senior Tyler Horton rotate between the other corner positions and spend time at safety. The Tigers will send pressure with four to five guys on a regular basis. Middle linebacker Vance Sams III has been the key player in that pressure, picking up 130 tackles on the season.
Key injuries: Johnson said that his team is as healthy as it can be at this point in the season.
The Skinny: Johnson thinks that Oceanside is the best team he has seen both on tape and live this season, saying that the Pirates are “six-to-seven points better than the team we faced in the (Central Section Division I) title game (Liberty of Bakersfield).” Edison must keep Oceanside running back Josh Bernard in check and will need its secondary to come up with some big plays.

Devin Ugland covers USC men’s basketball and football for He has previously written for the Orange County Register, Long Beach Press-Telegram and Daily Pilot. You can reach him via email: or follow him on Twitter: @Devin_Ugland.

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