October 9, 2018 9:47:52 AM
CALEDONIA -- Brandon Edmondson isn't a patient person.
The Caledonia High School junior quarterback encourages you to ask any of his friends to back up his claim he doesn't like to stand around waiting for things to happen.
Impatience typically isn't a quality that benefits quarterbacks, but it might have helped Edmondson in his initial steps in learning Caledonia first-year football coach Michael Kelly's "flex-bone" offense.
While there have been growing pains and penalties, Edmondson and the Confederates are sticking to their strengths and utilizing all of their weapons to capitalize.
Last week provided another example of Edmondson's maturation as a quarterback and as a leader, as he rushed for three scores and threw for another touchdown to lead Caledonia to a 34-20 victory against Mooreville in a Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 4A, Region 2 game.
For his accomplishments, Edmondson is The Dispatch's Prep Player of the Week.
"Each week he has gotten better," Kelly said. "I think a lot of it is not only on the field, but a lot of his off-the-field things. (Offensive coordinator and) Coach (Ray) Weeks and Brandon are doing a great job. They watch the good and the bad on film every week."
Edmondson, a 5-foot-18, 150-pound junior, had 18 carries for 71 yards and three touchdowns last week. Caledonia (3-4, 1-1 region) will look to build on the victory at 7 p.m. Friday when it plays host to Pontotoc (7-1, 2-0) in its Homecoming game. Pontotoc and Shannon are the remaining undefeated teams in Region 2. Caledonia and Itawamba Agricultural High are 1-1, while Mooreville and Amory are 0-2. The top four teams in the region qualify for the playoffs.
Caledonia's growth from a winless season in 2017 to a postseason contender this season starts with Edmondson, who has worked in three offenses in his time with the varsity football program. Two years ago, he worked behind Spencer Unruh in a spread attack. Last season, he directed a Wing-T attack. This season, Kelly's "flex-bone offense" provides three options on nearly every play and gives the quarterback the responsibility to take what the defense gives him.
Kelly said Mooreville opted to try to take away Edmondson's pitches to senior running back JeDarius Gore (team's leading rusher with 528 yards and eight touchdowns). As a result, Edmondson had to shoulder a bigger load carrying the ball. He also was 2-for-3 for 35 yards and a touchdown in an effort that pushed the Confederates closer to the playoffs.
Kelly credits that film study for helping Edmondson understand what is going on and what to look for so he can make split-second decisions. Kelly said the coaches, too, have had to learn patience with Edmondson and the rest of the players on offense. He admitted coaches typically don't have time to be patient, but he credited Edmondson for being patient with the coaches and has remained coachable so he can learn how to get his teammates the ball in the best positions to make plays.
Edmondson said working in different offenses didn't prevent him from learning how to be patient in Kelly's system. Instead, Edmondson said the late arrival -- June 18 -- of Kelly and his staff pushed him to want to soak up everything he could learn about the offense.
"As we were learning it, I wasn't patient about wanting to learn it. I wanted to get to the point and know what I needed to do," Edmondson said. "Sometimes the play is going to bam, bam, bam, and your reads are going to be like that. Sometimes it is slow. You just have to adjust. We do a good job at practice and on film knowing what to expect.
Edmondson said he understands he might have to do something different this week if Caledonia is going to move the ball against one of the preseason favorites in Class 4A. That is just another sign of growth for quarterback who is learning how to be a leader.
"I feel like we could have done better earlier in the year," Edmondson said. "Coming off that late start kind of killed us. I think if we had to learn it in the spring we could have balanced it out a little more. I think we are doing all right for the first year.
"I look forward to being one of those guys that are looked up to. My mom (Jenny) is always telling me everybody is watching you, so character is the main thing. You have to act like everyone is watching you and carry that around with you. You have to be the example, and that is the thing I have worked on."
Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor
Adam Minichino is the former Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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