The Vikings’ big ‘D” proved to be a handful when it squared off against one of the best teams in the state — the Windham Eagles.

The Eagles’ offense worked hard for every touchdown they got, and it took an interception and a fumble before Windham could breath easier and slip away with 26-10 victory over Oxford Hills at Don Gouin Athletic Complex on Friday night.

“Our defense is our heart and soul, no question,” Oxford Hills coach Mark Soehren said. “Defensively, we are going to come ready to play. Offensively, it is just one of those things, like how do we get points on the board. We had some descent drives, but we just didn’t get into the end zone as much as we wanted.”

The is an excellent team. We played with an excellent team. They outscored us and out executed us in the end. They made some great plays when they needed to. But we are please that we are making progress, pleased that we are playing with some of the best teams in the state. Fix a couple of things here and there, and whoever plays in the playoffs will had their hands full.”

For nearly four quarters, both teams hammered away at each other.

After Windham’s Josh Dugas put his team on the board with a 17-yard field goal, the Vikings had no problem finding the end zone on their second set of downs and gave themselves a 7-3 lead.

Windham fumbled on the kick off and senior Ian Lejonhud jumped on the ball at the Eagles’ 38-yard line. Oxford Hills moved to the 32 where Davis Turner took the pitch and broke free for the touchdown. Ryan VanDecker’s extra-point kick was good.

But that’s when the Eagles started probing in the second quarter and wen to the air with a 6-yard pass. Quarterback Desmond Leslie followed and hooked up with Zach Davis for 36-yard pass that placed Windham on the 14. From there, Windham shoved its way to the 2 when Kyle Houser scored and Dugas added on the extra point.

The Vikings used its “take your time” offense to slow the game down a bit, but couldn’t find the end zone. On the next set of downs, The Eagles slugged out to the Vikings’ 4-yard line and called upon Dugas to boot another field goal, making it 13-7 at the half.

Despite missing a couple key players, the Eagles made do and it showed in the second half.

“Our guys stepped and had to play a lot, ” Windham coach Matt Perkins said. “They got it done. It was great team effort.”

But Perkins wasn’t surprised that the Vikings gave his team a rough time.

“He (Soehren) has done a great job,” Perkins said. “The kids played hard. They played with class. I was very, very impressed with them.

Hey, they have a great defense. I have been saying that since Week 2. I saw the film, and I said to the staff, ‘Hey, that team can play.” They have athletes. Hey, we may see them again and it is going to be a battle.”

It was a war in the second half.

Oxford Hills could not finish off a couple of great drives in the a third quarter that it dominated on offense. And the Vikings would pay dearly for it in the fourth.

Windham’s Leslie reeled off a stunning 47-yard pass to tight end Kyle Kilfoil and added an 8-yard pass completion on the next play to move his team from the 27 to around the 18. The Eagles inched up to the 16 where Griffin Jacobson scored from there, but the conversion failed, leaving Windham in command 19-7.

But the Eagles found themselves right back in the end zone when Derek Howard intercepted the ball around the 28-yard line and scored. Dugas split the posts again and Windham led, 26-7.

The Vikings fumbled and Windham’s Matt Roy recovered late in the fourth quarter, putting the Oxford Hills out of commission

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