Friday, November 26, 1999

Edgewood's Osborne answers the call

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The opportunity to start at quarterback came a year earlier than expected for Brandon Osborne and the Edgewood junior has made the most of it.

        “Todd Bridge was supposed to start this season but he transfered to Fairfield,” Osborne said. “Coach (Steve) Channell pulled me aside after Todd transfered and told me I was the man.”

        Under Osborne's direction, Edgewood went undefeated (10-0) during the regular season and went on to post three consecutive victories in the Division II playoffs.

        Tonight (7:30 p.m.) at Troy Memorial Stadium, Edgewood will play Sylvania Southview in the Division II state semifinals with the winner advancing to next week's championship in Canton.

        A 6-foot-1, 180 pound right hand thrower, Osborne's passing and ball handling skills have been outstanding.

        “When we watch the game films, many times the opposing team tackles the back without the ball,” Channell said. “Brandon's worked hard and is very deceptive.”

        Osborne's instant success can be traced to his father, Terry, who was a drop back quarterback for Edgewood 20 years ago.

        “Dad's worked with me on hiding the ball for years ,” Osborne said. “I was the starting quarterback in the seventh and eighth grades. That's why the Wing-T offense isn't new to me.”

        Although Edgewood is primarily a running team out of the Wing-T with three backs (David White, Ryan White and Danny Beiser) over 1,000 yards, Osborne's passing has been crucial.

        A good example came during last week's 19-7 victory over Division II defending state champion Lebanon when Osborne completed three-of-three passes for 112 yards and one TD.

        Also Edgewood's starting defensive back, Osborne has intercepted six passes and also returns kickoffs and punts.

        “Brandon is very knowledgeable and understands our approach,” Channell said. “He also knows how important ball handling and faking are to the success of our backs.”

        After learning that he would be the starter, Osborne went to work.

        “We lifted three days and week and ran a lot,” Osborne said. “I also put a lot of time in on agility drills and brushing up on the plays.”

        If this wasn't enough, Osborne also played baseball during the summer before reporting to football practice in August.

        Quarterbacking the Wing-T offense isn't an easy task.

        “The Wing—T relies on speed and the play starts with the first step taken by the lineman which has to be at the correct angle,” Channell said.

        “We'll use about four formations that have about six or seven basic plays. We call two plays in the huddle. Based on the defense, Brandon calls the play at the line. He's done an excellent job.”

        Although Osborne hasn't posted the big numbers rushing (620 yards) or passing (525 yards), it's apparent that the success of the offense is in his hands.

        “Brandon's the best quarterback I've coached,” Channell said. “Our running backs not only appreciate the blocking from the line but also Brandon's ability handling the ball.” Most successful teams have quarterbacks who are take-charge players.


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