AUBURN — Grant Hartley threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another as Edward Little continued its undefeated ways with a 21-13 win over Windham at Walton Field on Friday.

Based on their film study, the Red Eddies figured that the Eagles would stack the box to try to stuff running back Caden Begos.

So Edward Little opened the game with a mix of runs and Hartley throwing short passes to the outside. He completed three such passes, including one to Terrell Thomas that Thomas took 19 yards for a touchdown.

“We knew we needed to spread the field, they were going to stack try to take Begos out of the game,” Edward Little coach Dave Sterling said. “We really wanted to get the ball out to the edges, out to our outside receivers, and our first drive, we did very well with that, Terrell Thomas caught a very good hitch pass and brought it into the end zone.”

On that opening drive, facing third-and-13, Hartley beat Windham’s pass rush and scrambled 24 yards for a first down.

Early in the second quarter, Hartley outdid himself. On third-and-21 from the Eddies’ 44-yard line, pass rushers foiled a pass play and forced the senior quarterback out of the pocket. He ran 26 yards for another first down.

Four plays later, on third-and-9, Hartley connected with Leighton Girardin for a 15-yard touchdown.

“Grant, he had watched film quite a bit,” Sterling said, “and he realized certain times that he was pushing people off that are in the secondary with his eyes, making them drop into coverage, and that he had running lanes.

“He’s a smart, good athlete. Once he saw the running lanes, he took off.”

In another third-and-9 situation late in the fourth quarter, Hartley, again under pressure, ran for a 10-yard touchdown to give the Red Eddies a two-score lead at 21-6.

“I was going through my progression for the pass play, and nothing was there, so I try and use my legs as best as I can, and was able to find a nice hole and just get the touchdown.”

Hartley finished with a game-high 79 yards on eight carries. He completed 14-of-22 passes for 138 yards.

His touchdown run came with 3:27 left and seemed to put the game away.

Not so fast.

Quarterback Tanner Bernier had runs of 11 and 27 yards and completed a 20-yard pass to Treva Valliere, as the Eagles went 66 yards in 2:20 capped by Nathan Watson’s 1-yard touchdown run to make it 21-13 with 1:07 left.

“We battled,” Windham coach Matt Perkins said. “Thing is is we’re in the playoffs, that’s the No. 1 team (in Class A North). We drop three balls — happens — and defensively we give up three plays on third-down-and-long … you know, I think we were right there. They made that extra play that we didn’t.”

The comeback stopped there, though. Edward Little recovered the onside kick to seal the win and improve to 7-0.

Bernier gained 69 yards on nine carries and completed 8-of-15 passes for 51 yards. Vallier had 48 yards rushing, and Watson had 36.

Maxx Bell ran four times for 57 yards and also had a pair of receptions. Xzabier Weaver hauled in a team-high seven receptions for 70 yards.

Neither team turned the ball over.

The Red Eddies finish the regular season next Friday against rival Lewiston (3-4) at Garcelon Field.

“Focus (next) week is just execute,” Hartley said. “We know who we’re playing. We’ve been playing them since we were little kids. We know everyone. We know what we’re going to do, they know what we’re going to do. We have to execute better than them.”

Maxx Bell of Edward Little High School breaks up a pass play intended for Hunter Coffin of Windham in Auburn on Friday. 

Leighton Girardin of Edward Little High School finds some running room against Windham on Friday. 

Alex Merchant of Edward Little High School puts pressure on Windham quarterback Tanner Bernier in Auburn on Friday. 

Marcus Canty of Windham keeps Tyson Cote of Edward Little High School away from quarterback Tanner Bernier in Auburn on Friday. 

Ricky Cote of Edward Little High School pulls Hunter Coffin of Windham down during the third quarter in Auburn on Friday. 

Dawson Tracey reacts after an Edward Little first down during the third quarter against Windham on Friday. 

Caden Begos of Edward Little runs the ball behind blocker Dawson Tracey during Friday’s game against Windham. 

Maxx Bell, left, and Robert Tremaine, right, of Edward Little High School stop Hunter Coffin of Windham in Auburn on Friday. 

Leighton Girardin of Edward Little High School dives into the end zone on a touchdown pass from Grant Hartley to put the Red Eddies up 13-0 against Windham on Friday. 


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