Edward Little’s Jonathan Knight attempts to tackle Oxford Hills’ Emerson Brown on Friday at Gouin Athletic Complex. (Brewster Burns photo)
SOUTH PARIS — After getting his helmet knocked off on a QB sneak, Oxford Hills’ Colton Carson went to the sidelines for the mandatory one play.
Carson’s head was still attached firmly to his shoulders, so he knew Vikings coach Mark Soehren wanted six points out of the play he was sending back in with him.
“When I came off and he told me the play, I knew it was going to work because we had been setting it up,” Carson said.
Carson returned and fired over the middle to tight end JJ Worster for a 23-yard touchdown pass that put the Vikings up 14-0.
Oxford Hills (2-0) used its balanced running attack to pull away in the third quarter of a 41-13 win over Edward Little on Friday night at Don Gouin Athletic Complex.
Carson led the Vikings with 138 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 16 carries, but got plenty of support from Parker LaFrance (15 carries, 84 yards, TD) and Emerson Brown (13 carries, 77 yards, TD).
Jonathan Knight had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Red Eddies (1-1).
After forcing a three-and-out on EL’s opening drive, Oxford Hills took the lead with a 13-play, 79-yard drive capped by Carson’s four-yard TD run.
The Red Eddies, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going offensively. Oxford Hills effectively hemmed in speedy QB Leighton Girardin and didn’t allow a first down until late in the second quarter.
“That was probably our biggest point of emphasis,” said Worster, a junior defensive end. “We knew their quarterback was by far their best player, and all week (in practice), we didn’t even have our backup quarterback in (on scout team). We had our next-fastest kid (sophomore running back Ashton Child) simulate their quarterback.”
Oxford Hills forced three turnovers, a fumble and two interceptions.
“One thing I’ve learned from a lot of the guys I’ve coached against is let those other teams make some of those mistakes,” Soehren said. “You’ve just got to be consistent, and we didn’t give them the big plays, other than the kick return.”
The biggest turnover came after EL appeared to get a momentum-changing interception and 59-yard return by Devonte Scott, setting the offense up at the Vikings’ 28.
Two plays later, though, Alex Turner picked off a pass that deflected off the hands of an EL receiver at his own 24 to maintain the Vikings’ 14-0 lead.
“When we’ve played well in the past, we didn’t turn the ball over. When you turn the ball over, you can’t expect to win a game,” Edward Little coach Dave Sterling said. “We made a number of mistakes that didn’t help us in this game, but guys took ownership of it. We know we’ve got to get a lot better. Give it to Oxford Hills, they played a very good game tonight.”
Carson also had an interception for the Vikings. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 170 yards, one TD and one interception.
Carson’s 40-yard TD run up the middle on the opening drive of the second half made it 21-0. His interception on EL’s ensuing possession eventually led to LaFrance’s five-yard TD run.
Knight broke several tackles on the ensuing kickoff to get the Red Eddies on the board with 5:20 left in the third.
Oxford Hills’ Janek Luksza strips the ball as he tackles Edward Littlle’s Jonathan Knight on Friday. (Brewster Burns photo)
Edward Little’s Jonathan Knight eludes the grasp of Oxford Hills’ Noah Oufiero on a kickoff return. Knight scored a touchdown on the play. (Brewster Burns photo)
Oxford Hills’ Janek Luksza looks upfield after evading the tackle of Edward Little’s Josh Hamel on pass reception. (Brewster Burns photo)
Oxford Hills’ Janel Luksza watches the ball on a successful point after attempt in the second half. (Brewster Burns photo)
Parker Lafrance looks for some running room as teammate Cam Slicer blocks Edward Little’s Sam Lemay downfield. (Brewster Burns photo)