AUBURN — Edward Little and Lewiston played oneupmanship for three solid quarters before a couple of key turnovers slowed down all the scoring in the final stanza of Friday night’s Class A football game.

The Battle of the Bridge is always an intense rivalry, and as usual, this hard-fought conflict featured clashes on the ground and in the air, with Edward Little successfully defending its own turf with a convincing 35-21 victory over a stubborn Blue Devil team, which also showed remarkable resilience when the chips were down.

But despite Friday night’s results, both teams will be making playoff appearances.

“We passed, we ran the ball,” EL coach Dave Sterling said. “We knew we had to run the football to be successful in this game. We had to change the pace of the game and we did that.”

The outcome was anyone’s guess until the last five minutes of the last quarter. The score stood at 21-21 with over seven minutes left in the game when the Blue Devils were trying to get something going at their 28-yard line. They got to the 41 when Lewiston fumbled and junior defensive back CJ Jipson jumped on the loose ball.

The Red Eddies were back in command at the 48 when EL quarterback Matt Verrill reeled off a series of successful strikes to receivers Terrell Thomas, Timothy Torres and Isaac Cote, who pulled in an 18-harder from above.

Throw in a couple of hard-nose rushes from Caden Begos, and the Red Eddies were sitting at the 1-yard line. Verrill kept the ball and spilled into the end zone for the touchdown with the tiebreaker. Liam Benson booted the extra point, putting EL on top 28-21 with 5:26 left.

But there was plenty of time for Lewiston to get back at EL.

“We call (Begos) the bowling ball. He rolls down hill and he puts his hand down. People thinks he’s down and he is still going,” Sterling said. “Isaac has been a senior receiver who we knew we could go to. He wanted this game as much as Matt Verrill. They have grown up together and have thrown the ball together in the backyard.”

That never happened thanks to junior Alex Cook, who came out of nowhere and picked off a Lewiston pass at the Devils’ 26 and ran it back for a touchdown to put a cork in Lewiston. Benson did the honors with another extra point and Edward Little led 35-21 with 1:14 left in the game.

The Red Eddies held a halftime 21-15 lead, but Lewiston didn’t waist a moment tying the game in the third quarter. Will Adams burst through EL defensive line and raced for 63 yards for a touchdown. The conversion failed, but the it was now a tie game.

In the first quarter, the Red Eddies scored first after 63 yard drive that ended when Begos scored on a 4-yard rush. Benson booted the extra point.

And that’s when each team began returning the favor.

The Blue Devils tied it in the second quarter when Jared Rubin found Roman Dennis for a 30-yard touchdown pass. Dennis also kicked the extra point and the game was now 7-7.

Not to be outdone, the Red Eddies came right back with a touchdown. Verrill reeled off three solid passes and moved his team to the 10. Verrill then found Cote open with a 10-yard touchdown pass. The kick failed and the score stood at 13-7.

On the next set of downs, Lewiston scored when Stefan Porter broke free with a 67-yard touchdown. Brock Belanger connected with Desmond Jackson for the two-point conversion.

But the Red Eddies didn’t hesitate on the next set of downs after Verrill hooked up with a 38-yard pass to Cote to EL right on the 1 where Begos scored. The kick failed.

“This have been happening to us right before the half the year. We haven’t just haven’t handled ends of halts real well,” Lewiston coach Bruce Nicholas said. But that is part of the learning process.”


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