A small change led to a big season for Mount Vernon’s Landon Edwards.
The senior was moved from cornerback to safety ... a position switch that fueled a huge football season for Edwards and a historic one for the Bulldogs.
Edwards notched 73 tackles, snagged seven interceptions and broke up 24 passes, numbers that earned him a first-team spot on the all-Western 4A Conference squad.
His play also helped boost the Bulldogs to a quad-district playoff appearance and a berth in the Class 4A State Tournament for the first time in 11 seasons.
“We moved him to safety hoping he could anchor our defense, and he did that and more,” Bulldogs coach Nic Vasilchek said.
For his eye-popping totals and contributions to the Bulldogs’ success, Edwards is the Skagit Valley Herald Defensive Football Player of the Year.
Vasilchek said the coaching staff moved Edwards in the offseason because they felt he’d be a good fit at safety.
“We wanted to put guys in the best positions possible,” he said. “We needed a safety who was vocal, who could come downfield and make tackles. If (Edwards) was in middle of field, he could cover both sides. He could double his output.”
Edwards, who hopes to play football in college and has been in touch with several schools, did just what the coaching staff wanted.
He led the team in interceptions, defensive touchdowns and passes broken up, was tied for the team lead in forced fumbles, and was third in tackles.
And all that despite missing two games.
Edwards was a versatile performer, getting named to the all-WesCo’s second team on offense, and was dangerous on special teams.
“We never had a punt hit the ground. And we forced (teams) to spend everyone to try to cover him,” Vasilchek said. “He always made huge plays, he broke tackles, he set up short fields all year. It built our confidence. We’d have a huge return that would get everyone pumped and we’d get out and score. It would demoralize opponents.”
Edwards said he made sure to savor the season ... and not just because of the Bulldogs’ success, but because this was his last season playing for Mount Vernon.
“It was exciting, but I was trying to capture every little thing,” he said. “I knew this was going to be it. Every time I stepped on the field, I tried to embrace that.”