The Great Armanti Does It Again

By Lloyd Vance
Updated: December 25, 2007

PHILADELPHIA — The NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision — formerly Division I-AA) championship was decided on December 14th as three-time defending champion Appalachian State Mountaineers (13-2) defeated the Delaware Blue Hens (11-4) 49-21 in Chattanooga, TN.

The Mountaineers were led by their “Field General” Armanti Edwards, who threw three touchdowns in the victory as his team jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never trailed.

The mercurial left handed quarterback was spectacular ending with passing numbers of nine for 15, 198 yards, and three touchdowns, with one interception plus running 18 times for 89 yards in the historic win over the Blue Hens.

You knew it was going to be a big night for Edwards when he connected with receiver CoCo Hillary on a 41-yard pass on his first throw of the game and then on his second throw he completed a 19-yard touchdown to senior running back Kevin Richardson that made it 7-0.

Edwards basically ended the game and won the championship when he found Dexter Jackson on a 60-yard touchdown to give the Mountaineers a 28-7 halftime lead.

If you remember, Edwards burst onto the scene in ASU’s season opening road upset win over NCAA Division 1-A powerhouse the University of Michigan in September 2007.

In that game he surprised and impressed the huge Big Blue crowd by contributing 227 passing yards with three passing touchdowns and never gave an inch in the 34-32 win at the Big House.

Edwards reminds me a lot of West Virginia quarterback Pat White or former Clemson great Woodrow Dantzler with his darting quick burst style of play. As a freshman last year, Edwards became just the sixth player in Division I history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season and led ASU to the championship.

This season despite shoulder woes, he put up amazing dual threat one thousand-one thousand numbers of 1,588 yards rushing with 21 touchdowns and 1,948 yards passing and 17 touchdowns while completing over 65% of his passes.

Edwards had his best game of the season in the championship semifinals running for 313 yards and passing for 182 yards and accounting for seven touchdowns in a big win over the Richmond Spiders.

Delaware head coach KC Keeler said of Edwards, “The quarterback makes the whole thing go. He plays at a different speed than everybody else on the field”. Edwards may not get the attention of White or Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, but he is a player to be watched in his next two years in college.

Look for scouts to find a way to get this playmaker on the field in the NFL possibly as a Joshua Cribbs type (kick returner for the Cleveland Browns).