It took seven weeks for the undefeated Tamaqua Raiders (9-0) to receive a TIMES NEWS Player of the Week award when Dalton Nunemacher earned the honor two weeks ago.
Well, the old adage good things come to those who wait is something the Raiders should pay attention to.
For the second time in three weeks a Tamaqua player has earned the TIMES NEWS Player of the Week. Quarterback Nate Edmonds has received the award for the Raiders in week nine of the 2012 football season. Edmonds completed all five of his passing attempts against Minersville, throwing for 131 yards and two touchdowns to earn the hardware.
To say Edmonds has been efficient this season would be a serious understatement. Tamaqua has been fortunate enough to not have to throw the ball that much, rushing for 244 yards on the ground per game against the opposition this season. However, when Edmonds number has been dialed by Coach Bonner and his staff he has done nothing but answer the call.
To put it in perspective of how efficient Edmonds has been this year take a look at his statistics. Out of the 35 passes he has completed, 15 of them have been touchdowns. That means that 42 percent of his completed passes this season have counted for six. The 15 TD passes also puts Edmonds in some elite company. He is now just one behind Geoff Kruczek for the most touchdown passes in a season by a Tamaqua quarterback since at least 1987 (the year that TIMES NEWS passing stats go back to) . Kruczek threw 16 TD passes during the 1991 season.
Edmonds touchdown to interception ratio has been fantastic as well throwing 15 touchdowns to just four interceptions.
"We've been in fortunate situations where we haven't really had to throw the football that much, but then when we've had to throw the ball I think we showed that we have the ability to do so," said Tamaqua coach Sam Bonner. "At times this year we've sputtered a bit at times and Nate has been there to dial up a long pass play for us to get us going again. His efficiency rating is remarkable as well and I don't think I've ever been around a kid in high school football with a better one."
The junior signal caller missed all of last season with a back injury and was chomping at the bit to lead the Raiders in 2012. Edmonds put in the work in the off-season, throwing whenever he could and really put forth an immense amount of effort in the weight room. It wasn't easy getting back and the rust showed the first couple weeks of the season, but Edmonds started to get more comfortable as the season wore on. It was in the game against Shenandoah when Edmonds passing skills started to show, mostly because the Raiders needed some big plays from the passing game. Edmonds threw for 192 yards on the night against the Blue Devils, throwing three touchdown passes as well. It was sort of a coming out party for Edmonds and ever since he has been gaining more and more confidence every week.
"I worked out all season lifting, throwing, and just trying to prepare myself for a full season of football," said Edmonds. "I didn't play last season and the first couple of games I played in were good, but they weren't great as far as my performance goes. It was the game against Shenandoah where I was forced to throw the football a lot more than in the previous games and I had some success. That game really gave me some confidence and I've been able to throw the football pretty well since then. I just try to put the ball where it's supposed to be and not turn it over. Taking care of the football is a main concern for me as the quarterback and luckily we've all been doing a good job of that."
Edmonds and the Raiders have surely been doing a great job of protecting the football and also forcing the opposition to turn the ball over. Tamaqua is plus 19 in the turnover department this season, which of course is a big reason for their 9-0 record. Edmonds play is also a reason for that, but the Raiders' QB also says that the support from the community has been great. The Raiders season is far from over and they certainly still have a lot more to accomplish, but the ride to 9-0 Edmonds explains has been quite the experience.
"We have all worked hard to get here and the support from all our family, friends, and community members has been awesome," said Edmonds. "Everyone is really getting behind us and you can see that by just taking a ride downtown. We're going to do our best to go out there on Saturday and keep it going for everybody that believes in us."