SOUTH PARIS – It was a chilly enough night at Don Gouin Athletic Complex to leave frost on a pumpkin, but Edward Little tailback Jon Demers didn’t bother wearing long sleeves. He knew he was going to have little trouble staying warm.

Demers carried the ball 37 times for 274 yards and a touchdown, and Ricky Chamness, Troy Barnies and Dylan Therrien made key interceptions to help the Red Eddies hold on for a 20-13 over Oxford Hills Friday night.

“I challenged Jon all week and let him know I was putting this on his shoulders,” EL coach Darren Hartley said. “This was a game I was going to ask a lot of him. He wasn’t going to get a lot of breaks.”

“We came in knowing we were going to run the ball,” Demers said. “The line was just outstanding tonight. I definitely had multiple (running) lanes to choose from tonight.”

Demers split his carries evenly between the first and second half, but his most important may have come in the fourth quarter. Protecting their seven-point lead, the Eddies pounded with the senior running back and started the quarter with a clock-burning 11-play drive.

The drive stalled at midfield and the Eddies (4-2) had to punt. But Barnies made a diving interception at his own 38 with 4:04 to go, and that allowed EL to burn another minute-and-a-half off the clock.

The Viking defense forced a three-and-out to give the offense one last opportunity to tie the game with 2:37 to play, but Therrien picked off a Justin Frechette pass 13 seconds later and Demers collected two more first downs to run out the clock.

It appeared early on that Vikings tailback Brian Trudeau (15 carries, 84 yards) would match Demers carry-for-carry. Oxford Hills (0-5) handed him the ball nine times on its first two drives and penetrated deep into EL territory both times.

The Vikes drove down to the 3 on the game’s opening series, only to have a TD pass to Nigel Cromwell called back on a holding penalty that ultimately thwarted their scoring chance. They then marched to the EL-24 on their second series, but Chamness’ pick denied them again.

Oxford Hills’ next turnover, a fumbled snap at their own 31, led to the game’s first points, as Demers raced through a huge hole up the middle for a 15-yard TD that made it 6-0 early in the second quarter.

Frechette (7 of 18, 133 yards) hooked up with Cromwell again for a touchdown from 25 yards which stood up, and Sutton’s extra point gave the Vikings a 7-6 lead. EL responded with a 69-yard scoring drive capped by Kyle Bussiere’s two-yard plunge up the middle for a 12-7 lead.

The Eddies caught a break late in the half when they stopped Sutton at midfield on a fake punt attempt on 4th-and-14 with 1:27 left. Four runs by Demers and Chris Ringer preceded Chamness’ 2-yard TD run in a drive that took just 58 seconds. Garrett Wyman caught the two-point conversion from Barnies to give EL a 20-7 lead at intermission.

Oxford Hills took advantage of Edward Little’s only turnover, a fumble recovered by Ron Packard, to get back into the game early in the second half. Frechette found Sutton on a 42-yard pass play down the right sideline to the EL-2 to set up D.J. Drew’s 2-yard TD that pulled the Vikings within seven.

“We moved the ball as well as we have in the regular season. We mixed the pass and the run a little bit better than we have,” Oxford Hills coach Bob Austin said. “The second half has been a real problem all season. We’ve let down in the second half and we obviously didn’t let down tonight.”


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