UPDATED: 'Rampage Ed' Leads Redmen Into Playoffs
Eddie Matovu and the Redmen are one win away from playing in a second consecutive Super Bowl.
Bill Belichick would love Eddie Matovu.
The kid plays offense, defense, and special teams, and has become one of the best playmakers on a Tewksbury High football team that’s on the last leg of a special season.
Born in Uganda, the 6-foot-1, 195 lb. Matovu helped Tewksbury beat Wilmington 18-6 in the 78th Thanksgiving Day meeting between the Redmen and Wildcats.
“This was our biggest game of the year,” Matvou said after the game. “It’s great to go home on Thanksgiving with a win."
Tewksbury, elated to have a healthy Matovu during the home-stretch, will try to go back to the Division 2 Super Bowl when they face Reading High (11-0) in a playoff rematch on Tuesday. Kickoff is set for 7:45 p.m. at Reading High.
Matovu’s skill set has been extremely useful throughout the Redmen’s 2012 campaign. His, rushing, blocking, route running, pass rushing, and defensive backfield coverage make him invaluable on both sides of the ball.
“He’s certainly one of our more versatile players,” said his head coach Brian Aylward, fresh off the Turkey Day victory.
“It’s just practicing and executing what you do,” said Matovu of his vast range of abilities on the football field.
Matovu rushed for 30 yards against Wilmington; his big moment was a five-yard touchdown run to open the scoring. He leads his team with 16 touchdowns on the year.
The talented junior opened spectators' eyes by returning the season-opening kickoff for a touchdown against Lincoln-Sudbury. He had a memorable, three-touchdown game against Lawrence, and followed it up with 234 all-purpose yards the following week against North Andover.
His nickname might be “Rampage Ed,” but that’s for his demeanor on the football field, not his overall personality.
“He’s always smiling,” said Aylward. “He’s a pleasure to coach.”
Matovu was quick to praise his coach after the Redmen improved to 7-4 on the season.
“B.A. [Brian Aylward], he’s very motivational,” Matovu said. “I think he’s a great coach and a great guy as well.”
Matovu’s hard-nosed running on offense and tackling ability on defense helped Tewksbury go undefeated in MVC Small play this year. At 5-0 in the conference, the Redmen snuck into the Boston Herald’s Top 25 poll at spot number 25. Tewksbury’s playoff opponent, Reading, is sitting pretty with their undefeated record at number five in the state.
As long as Matovu has his bananas, the Redmen will have a shot at knocking off Reading in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
“I used to cramp up at the beginning of the season so I make sure I eat six bananas before the game,” he said. That’s not the only fuel that Rampage Ed needs before a game.
“Bowl of Frosted Flakes as well,” he added. Tony the Tiger would be proud. Matovu has been great in 2012, and the Merrimack Valley Conference has a big problem to deal with when Matovu becomes a senior in 2013.
It’s a pure love for the game that keeps Matvou motivated. “I love this sport and I want to do the best that I can do,” Matovu said.
Thanks to a memorable breakout season for Matovu, the town of Tewksbury now loves him as much as he loves his favorite sport.