TOPSHAM — Something had to give.
The Edward Little football team came into Topsham sporting an 0-5 record, but had played some opponents tough.
Mt. Ararat was also winless through its first five Eastern Maine Class A contests and sported a roster with barely 20 upperclassmen.
Behind an offense that produced 380 yards rushing and passing, a tough, in-your-face interior defense, and some big plays along the way, the Eddies never blinked, rolling to a 49-0 win on Saturday.
After a scoreless first quarter (EL had 20 plays to the Eagles’ nine), the visitors rang up 21 points in the second quarter and 21 more in the third as both coaches went to their respective benches midway through the third stanza.
The Eddies’ defense limited Mt. Ararat to 75 yards rushing (on 40 carries) and one pass completion for seven yards as quarterback Jake Liedman was harassed throughout and was 1-of-7 with a pick.
On the flip side, the Eddies got a sterling 8-for-10 passing performance from Sean Ford, who amassed 165 yards, including a 51-yard TD pass to Cameron Cormier and a 30-yard scoring strike to Jeff Clark.
In the rushing department, the Eddies picked up 215 yards, led by Boyd with 15 lugs for 76 yards and touchdown runs of 1 and 17 yards, the latter with 9:01 left in the third quarter for a 28-0 lead.
“Going in we knew someone had to win a game so we were just hoping it would be us,” said Ford. “We knew that this would be a great opportunity for us to get our first win.
“After watching film, we knew that they wouldn’t come too hard at us,” said Ford of his team’s passing strategy. “Our routes were run really well today and people were getting open. Now we have to get ready for next week (Skowhegan).”
In the first half alone, Mt. Ararat drives finished with punt, punt, punt, punt.
The Eddies, who had their first drive stall at the MA-17 with a Brandon Wyatt interception, finally got on the board with 9:06 left in the second period when Boyd capped off a 10-play, 51-yard drive with a 1-yard run. Cormier kicked the first of his five PATs for a 7-0 lead.
A 49-yard Ford-to-Cormier pass with 5:44 left made it 14-0, and Ford connected with Clark for a 30-yard strike four minutes later for the 21-0 advantage.
“It was a good day,” said Edward Little coach Dave Sterling, in his third year. “We had a little adversity to start the game, but the kids really came together as a unit and realized what we had to do to correct things. And, it got better as the day went on.”
Going in, Sterling knew that his team “could throw the ball if we spread the field pretty well. We were able to do that, but their defense was resilient in the beginning of the game and we had to adjust.”
In the third period, Boyd broke several tackles en route to a 17-yard scoring scamper with 9:01 left, Clark cut across the field and scampered 52 yards down the right sideline for a 35-0 lead, and a 35-yard pass interception by ever-present Quinn Leary (dragging would-be tacklers into the end zone) upped the ante to 42-0 with 6:47 left.
“We’ve got a great group of guys who are talented athletes,” added Sterling. “And if you give them some direction, they’ll understand what the job is that they have to do during the week. We’ve had some games where we’ve played well, but we just haven’t gotten over the mountain. Today we played as a team and helped each other out as we went along.”
“They’re bigger in size than us and they’ve played some pretty tough teams,” said Mt. Ararat coach Frank True. “We’re down to 22 kids and playing freshman now, which makes it tough. The same kids are going both ways. Emotion takes over and we get worn down and start having breakdowns mentally.”