The unbeaten Eagles stayed that way with a solid 41-0 win over Oxford Hills.

Former longtime coach Wes Littlefield was involved in an incident with a player Wednesday in practice. He resigned Thursday afternoon. The players learned of the coaching change following practice Thursday.

That left offensive coach Rob Rodrigue and defensive coach Chapin LaBelle sharing duties Friday night. Whether the school hires an interim coach will be determined next week.

“When we came up on the bus, we kind of chatted about it,” said Rodrigue. “We talked about how we could put the kids in the best position to be successful. Coach (LaBelle) has been working with the defense all year long and I’ve been working with the offense. That seemed to be the best fit for the team.”

The Eagles (4-0) regrouped for the showdown with the Vikings (1-3). Messalonskee scored 21 points in the second quarter to open the lead and never looked back. Corey McKenzie led the Eagles with a touchdown and 161 yards on 17 carries, all in the first half. Dean Northrup added a pair of touchdowns and 77 yards rushing on seven carries.

“The kids had their own (meeting),” said LaBelle, who noted that the Messalonskee captains pulled the squad together. “We, the coaches, just went with it. They straightened things out amongst themselves, and we came down here and took care of business.”

The Vikings got a solid defensive effort but the offense couldn’t keep pace. Oxford Hills managed just 30 total yards and one first down. The Vikings were plagued by nine fumbles, four of which were recovered by the Eagles.

“We worked on a bunch of assignments this week,” said Oxford Hills coach Mark Soehren. “It was an issue last week. We looked to make some personnel changes. We had eight to 10 kids in there, and we really went after it. We just tried to make sure they knew exactly what to do. I’ll have to go look at the film because I don’t know what happened.”

Oxford Hills forced the Eagles to punt on their first two possessions, but the offense couldn’t build on it. Then early in the second,  Jake Dexter jumper over two defenders to catch a Josh Woodard 26-yard pass for the 7-0 lead with 11:53 left in the pass.

The Vikings had a chance to answer after Dexter Turner blocked a Messalonskee punt, but Oxford Hills fumbled the ball away on its first play from scrimmage.  McKenzie then broke one 77 yards for a 14-0 lead with 7:31 left in the half. After another Viking fumble, the Eagles made it 21-0 with 3:36 left in the half. Woodard hit Jake Stinson on a 10-yard pass.

“I told the kids we needed to establish something,” said Soehren, whose team had just three yards total  in the first half.  “We needed to establish something offensively. We knew what they were going to do, and that’s what they showed us. So it’s hard to say what happened. Our kids played hard. It’s just wasn’t our night.”

Northrup added a run from the 3 in the third and one from the 5 in the fourth. Robert Schlosser plunged in from the 1 late in the fourth to complete the scoring.

“We haven’t really had any time to think about it,” said LaBelle of the turmoil of the previous two days. “We’re just taking it bit by bit and going from there. The captains brought the kids together, and we’ll just go from here.”

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