PARIS — With the game well in Oxford Hills' control late in the fourth quarter, Bill Leahy got a head start on the victory celebration by losing his lunch near midfield.
"It's a homecoming tradition," Leahy proclaimed proudly after the game.
The senior guard's nausea didn't stem from the Vikings' offensive performance. Quite to the contrary, he was more likely sick from exhaustion resulting from an effort that finally rivaled the Vikes' take-no-prisoners defense.
Oxford Hills (2-3) dominated both sides of the ball and rolled to a 24-6 homecoming victory over Lewiston at Gouin Athletic Complex on Saturday. The Vikings outgained the Blue Devils, 305-78 and controlled the ball for over 31 of 48 minutes.
"Our offense has struggled. It's the first time we've actually got a push and some drives and scored some points," said senior Jordan Croteau.
Lewiston's only score came on the opening kickoff of the second half, which Quintarian Brown returned 66 yards for a touchdown. It was the fifth return for a touchdown this season for the Blue Devils. But the offense struggled, collecting 11 total yards in the first half and five first downs for the game.
"When you're this young, there are a couple of games that you hope you can stay in and I thought we could make this one a bigger fight," Lewiston coach Bill County said. "I think our skill kids are pretty special. I think our offensive line works hard. Quintarian and those guys, they're just gifted. It has nothing to do with experience. If you give them a seam, they find it and go."
The kick return seemed to be just the spark the Devils needed, even though Croteau blocked the extra point to keep the Vikings' lead at 16-6. Oxford Hills fumbled on its ensuing possession and Derek Larrabee recovered for Lewiston at its own 24.
But back-to-back penalties pushed the Devils back to the 6, leading to a sack of QB Ace Curry in the end zone by a fleet of Vikings. The safety made it 18-6.
"The safety was a big one," Oxford Hills coach Mark Soehren said. "The defense is tough. We've always been aggressive. We're starting to get a little more disciplined. And they rose to the occasion."
Lewiston (1-4) tried to get back into the game with its best drive of the day. While collecting all five of their first downs, the Devils marched 69 yards to the Vikings' 16. But Ben Bowie made a leaping interception in the end zone on a pass intended for Ben Howell to snuff the drive.
Spreading the ball around to seven different ball carriers, the Vikings' "flexbone" gained 276 yards on the ground, led by Dexter Turner (14 carries, 81 yards, TD), QB Ryan Godin (17 carries, 75 yards, TD) and Nick Bowie (eight carries, 66 yards, TD).
"It works out because we have more than one threat," Godin said. "I can give the ball to Dexter, I can give it to Malik (Geiger), Bowie, Wolfe (Raasumaa). I can give it to anybody and know that they're going to run for yards. Our linemen blocked great today."
"We've been working on our execution on the offensive side of the ball and it's finally starting to come together," said Turner, who had a 20-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice.
It started to come together on the offense's second series of the game, which went eight plays for 58 yards, culminating in Godin's one-yard sneak. Davis Turner added the two-point run for an 8-0 lead.
The Vikings chewed up over eight minutes off the clock in the second quarter on a 17-play drive, all on the ground. The drive stalled at Lewiston's 31, but it was hardly in vain.
"We're pretty good with six-play drives. We haven't been able to sustain anything longer," Soehren said. "We didn't put it in the end zone (on that drive) and I said, 'We've got to score sooner than 17 plays,' but at least we sustained it."
The Vikings' defense regained the momentum by forcing a three-and-out. On their first play from scrimmage, Nick Bowie ran through a huge hole untouched for a 44-yard touchdown that made it 14-0 late in the first half.