AUBURN — Messalonskee football has never been about flashy plays, personal statistics or making newscast highlight reels. Running a double-wing offense tends to preclude all of that.

Statistically, Friday night’s victory over Edward Little won’t be one for the record books, either, thanks in large part to one of the more underrated defensive units in Eastern Class A.

The Eagles held Edward Little to negative yards in the rush column and set its offense up with an average starting position at the EL 40-yard line, helping lead the Eagles to a 38-0 win over the Red Eddies at Walton Field.

“Our guys up front do a great job, our coaches do a great job keeping them going,” Messalonskee coach Chapin LaBelle said. “Every day they get better, and our front four are great.”

The last couple of weeks have been tumultuous for Messalonskee after head coach Wes Littlefield resigned upon being accused by a player of assault. Charges have since been filed against Littlefield. Last week, the team’s assistant coaches shared sideline duties, and this week LaBelle was appointed interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

“We stuck to what we’ve been doing avery night,” LaBelle said. “We haven’t changed much up, as you can see, and as far as the team goes, the captains have done a nice job of holding them all together and keeping everyone going.”

The Eagles (5-0) knew teams had struggled out of the gate at Walton Field this season. They were determined not to let that happen again.

“I saw Lawrence sputter out here a little bit, and then Brunswick on film last week, so I was worried about a slow start,” LaBelle said. “I was nervous about it for us, too, and I’ve been talking about it to the players all week that we needed to start strong.”

On the other side, Edward Little’s preparation for Messalonskee was tougher because of the Eagles’ offense, which confounds even the best defenses from time to time.

“They have a very good offense, it’s a unique offense,” EL coach Dave Sterling said. “It’s hard to get your kids prepared for it unless you have a really good look team.”

Making Messalonskee’s offense that much tougher to defend this season are the backs who do much of the heavy lifting, Corey Foye and Jake Stinson. Foye finished Friday night with 86 yards on 15 carries and a pair of touchdowns, while Stinson rumbled for 51 yards on seven carries and another pair of scores. Zachary Mathieu tacked on the fifth Messalonskee touchdown while running for 33 yards on six tries.

A 68-yard Jake Dexter punt return set up the Eagles’ first score early in the first, capped by a Foye plunge from five yards out.

“Our special teams have been playing much better as of late,” LaBelle said. “It’s been a rough couple of weeks for them, but they really played well.”

Stinson’s first carry was the Eagles’ next touchdown just three minutes later, a 31-yard ramble up the right side, and Mathieu’s 17-yarder punctuated a first quarter to remember for Messalonskee. Though the Eagles gained only 117 yards in the quarter, they scored three times to build a 24-0 advantage.

“If you’re not executing, doing your job and taking care of your own assignments, it makes for a very long night,” Sterling said.

Stinson added another in the second quarter as EL began to make adjustments to its defense. The Eddies (0-5) did not allow another Messalonskee first down in the first half.

The second half was more of the same for the EL defense. Two first downs led to the Eagles’ final tally in the third frame, but they managed only one other in the second half as EL held from there.

“We started to figure it out in the second half,” Sterling said. “We changed some personnel, we changed the way we were attacking their offense and got some better push.”

But EL just couldn’t generate any offense, on the ground or in the air, where the Eagles also had two interceptions.


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