AUBURN — The Edward Little football team bent a little Friday night. Then the Red Eddies bent some more. And then bent even further.

As the Noble Knights threatened with a dominating second half, they tested the will of the Red Eddies’ defense, but EL’s defensive stand won out. After building a 13-0 lead, EL held off the Knights for a 13-10 win.

“They put us in a tough spot position-wise on the field,” said EL coach Dave Sterling. “We made a couple mental errors when we thought we got out of it but getting a win is a win. They’re a good football team. They’re coming along very well. They gave us everything they had. We were lucky to hold on and get the win out of this.”

Noble held EL to just 32 total yards and one first down in the entire second half. The Knights had five possessions in the second half and four of them got inside the red zone. Noble got as far as the 12, 1, 15 and 14 but failed to score on those opportunities.

“We’re a young team,” Noble coach Andrew Elwell said. ” I think we start two seniors. We play a lot of freshmen and a lot of sophomores. That’s something that’s going to come with experience. They made some plays but finishing is an art form. The other team’s defense steps their game up and we have to rise to that challenge.”

It was the second win in three weeks for EL (2-4) while Noble drops to 1-5.


“For these guys, we struggled at times,” Sterling said. “We lost by one point to start the season. We lost another tough one the second week. Then we ran into a couple really good teams. For them to hang in there together and get to this point, it shows we’re doing better.”

EL took a lead almost immediately. Johnny Boyd broke one 80 yards on the first play from scrimmage for a 6-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game. Boyd finished with 176 yards on 17 carries.

In the second quarter, Boyd added to the lead with another lengthy run. He scampered down the left side 62 yards with 4:29 left in the half for a 13-0 lead.

A Noble interception gave the Knights the chance to get one back in the final seconds of the half. EL denied Noble on numerous plays but quarterback Otto Keisker hit Mason Della-Piana on the final play of the half for a 5-yard touchdown pass with no time left on the clock. Cam Johnson, who led the Knights with 88 yards on 18 carries, rushed the conversion to cut it to 13-8.

Noble continued that momentum to start the third and marched the ball downfield. The Knights got as close as the 12 but the drive stalled out. After EL was forced to punt on its possession, Noble was on the move again. The Knights were stopped at the 1 when Johnson was stuffed on fourth down from the 3.

EL took over at its own one but Boyd was tackled in the end zone on the second play for a safety, making it 13-10 with 41 seconds left in the third.


In the fourth, Noble stopped EL on three plays and set up at midfield. The  Knights moved the ball down to the 24. Noble was hampered by a fumbled snap and could only manage three yards on fourth-and-17.

“We need to execute a little better and we need to coach a little better and get after it next time,” Elwell said.

EL couldn’t maintain its possession. A penalty didn’t help matters. EL finished with 70 yards in penalties, most coming on the defensive side of the ball. EL had to punt with 4:34 left, giving the Knights one final chance.

Noble took over at midfield again and drove as close as the 14. The Knights were aided by a personal foul penalty. Noble only moved backwards from there. A holding call pushed them back. Then two incompletions, including a dropped ball in the end zone, and a rush for no gain, didn’t help them. Keisker was able to rush for eight yards and on fourth-and-30, he scrambled in the backfield trying to find a receiver down field. He had to settle for a 10-yard completion, well shy of the first down.

“They did a good job taking it away when it counted,” Elwell said. “We had some plays out there to be made. We just couldn’t make them.”

Noble had eight first downs in the second half.

“We had a goal line stand (early in the half) and we had to stop them late in the game,” Sterling said. “Our defense has been very good for us. We have some good guys to get after it. We just have to put a whole game together.”

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