After an offensive explosion that saw 70 points against Brookwood last week, the Paul W. Bryant High School Stampede had to find a different way to beat the Northridge Jaguars on Friday night.

Most of the first half was a struggle for the Stampede offense in their 23-6 victory. On their opening possession, they were stopped on 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line. After settling for a field goal on their second drive, it felt like the game was going to be a defensive battle.

But then Ty’Javian Edwards happened.

The Stampede quarterback marched the offense down the field with a 45-yard run and then on the following play threw a 15-yard touchdown strike to receiver Alphus Shipman Jr with 22 seconds remaining in the first half.

“We have started out slow each week, but we had to up the tempo,” Edwards said. “That play was massive and it changed the momentum of the entire game.”

Edwards finished with 218 yards through the air with two touchdowns and 10 carries for 72 yards.

“You have to hold your breath every time he touches the rock,” Bryant coach Eldrick Hill said. “He is very dynamic and we are fortunate to have one of the best players in the state.

“I am very proud of this team because it is very hard to get wins in this region. We were able to come out and overcome their punches they threw at us and we are extremely proud.”

At halftime, Jaguars running back LiEric Street had gashed the Stampede defense for 77 yards on only 10 carries. Senior linebacker Xavier Morrow knew something had to change.

“They punched us in the mouth and we had to adjust to it,” Morrow said. “Our goal is to pitch shutouts and I count this as a shutout because they only scored field goals and did not score a touchdown.”

Hill has the Stampede off to their second straight 4-0 start, but last year they finished 1-5 in their final six games to miss out on the postseason. To avoid that, Hill says his team has to approach the game from a different perspective, mentally

“It is all about mental focus,” Hill said. “We have to sustain that great mental focus that champions do for four quarters. We have block out the outside crap and stay focused and play for 48 minutes plus if needed.”

Key stat: Stampede wide receiver Ray Lucky caught five passes for 70 yards and rushed for 50 yards on six carries. Jaguars running back LiEric Street had 18 carries for 135 yards.

Next up: Paul W. Bryant (4-0, 2-0 Class 6A, Region 4) faces Bessemer City at home and Northridge (0-4, 0-2) travels to Hillcrest next Friday night.