— MBR Radio Network (@MBRRadio) September 23, 2017
Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School’s Dawson Stevens (8), slips past Edward Little’s Ryan Ross (2) and into the end zone for the only touchdown of the first half during their game at Walton Field in Auburn on Friday.
AUBURN — It might not be pretty, but Edward Little keeps finding ways to win.
Friday against Oxford Hills, Grant Hartley threw a touchdown pass to Eric Robinson to give the Red Eddies a 7-6 win at Walton Field.
The win keeps Edward Little unbeaten at 4-0 in Class A North football.
“We’ll take it,” Eddies coach Dave Sterling said. “We had a lot of guts and determination.”
In a game mostly devoid of momentum, the Vikings’ 6-0 lead seemed larger than it actually was until the end of the third quarter when the Eddies finally started moving the ball.
Senior running back Caden Begos did most of the heavy lifting, and that power running finally opened up the pass game for Hartley (3-for-15, two interceptions).
On a play action, Hartley rolled out and delivered a dime to Robinson streaking toward the back corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown with 8:29 remaining in the game.
“I thought it was a good play call,” Hartley said. “The wideout, Eric Robinson, made a great rout. Perfectly executed — couldn’t have gone much better.”
Begos finish with 98 yards on 24 carries. He was at his best at the end, gaining 51 of those yards late in the third quarter or in the fourth.
“Caden’s an angry child,” Hartley said. “It might take him a little bit to wake up, but once he does he wants the ball as much as he can get it. And we’ll feed it to him as much as we can.
“It was a great, gutsy game by him, I thought.”
Begos said holes were opening wider late in the game.
“It was, like, magical,” Begos said. “The line really started doing their job, and we noticed the team was tired on the other side, and we just had to capitalize on that.”
Following Robinson’s touchdown catch, Curtis Ouellette made one of the most important extra points of the season to give Edward Little a 7-6 lead.
Oxford Hills’ touchdown came in the second quarter when Dawson Stevens weaved through the Eddies’ defense for a 14-yard run in the second quarter. Stevens’ extra point was blocked.
“Ryan Ross came up with a big block on their PAT, which ended up being the difference in the game,” Sterling said.
It took Edward Little more than a quarter-and-a-half to pick up its first down of the game. In the second half, Oxford Hills’ offense was held to just one first down.
That lone first down was followed by a holding penalty and then a pair of fumbled snaps.
“I think they played a better game tonight,” Oxford Hills coach Mark Soehren said. “I think they had way fewer mistakes.”
The Vikings (2-2) also fumbled way the ball — it was recovered by Ross — after advancing to the Edward Little 4-yard line.
After the Red Eddies took the lead, they forced the Vikings to go three-and-out for the third time of the second half. Edward Little proceeded to drain the remaining 6:39 off the clock, first with runs by Begos and then by Maxx Bell out of the wildcat.
At the midway point of the season, the Eddies remain the lone unbeaten team in A North. They travel to face Massabesic next week.
“We’re not to be taken lightly,” Begos said. “This week I think we showed them that, you know, we’re the team to beat this year.”
Edward Little High School quarterback Grant Hartley (with the ball) gets wrapped up at the ankles by Oxford Hills’ J.J. Worster as he’s also pursued by Dawson Stevens during their game at Walton Field in Auburn on Friday.Edward Little High School’s Joshua Hamel, right, gets flipped upside down after attemting to make a catch in front of Oxford Hills’ Talon Mederios (89) during their game at Walton Field in Auburn on Friday.Edward Little High School quarterback Grant Hartley, right, loses control of the football after being hit by Oxford Hills’ Austin Doughty during their game at Walton Field in Auburn on Friday. Hartley recovered his own fumble.
Edward Little High School running back Caden Begos, right, tries to slip through the arms of Oxford Hills’ Austin Doughty, left, after taking the handoff from quarterback Grant Hartley, rear, during their game at Walton Field in Auburn.Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School’s Emerson Brown (34) tried to shed a tackle by Edward Little’s Justin Theriault during their game at Walton Field in Auburn on Friday.Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School running back Dawson Stevens slips a tackle in the backfield during a game against Edward Little High School at Walton Field in Auburn on Friday.Edward Little High School’s Maxx Bell (1) makes a move around Oxford Hills’ Dawson Stevens during their game at Walton Field in Auburn on Friday.