Oxford Hills’ Jake Lang spins away from Edward Little’s Nick Davis during the first half of Friday’s lacrosse game. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

PARIS — Oxford Hills coach Hunter Rowell disregards all chatter about making the playoffs and wants his Vikings to focus on the rest of the regular season.

The coach knows a playoff appearance is in Oxford Hills’ wheelhouse but would rather not talk about it — for the moment. But the Vikings heeded Rowell’s direction and went right out and took down Edward Little with a 9-4 victory Friday.

Edward Little’s Aden Charest, left, puts pressure on Oxford Hills’ Zavier Balzano as he tries to head toward the net during Friday’s game. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

“I thought we did a great job,” Rowell said. “There has been some talk about playoffs, but we just had to get through this game and get through next week as well.

“We just have to play our game, for sure. I just think they (Red Eddies) played a great game, but I just think that we played a little bit better.”

The Vikings (7-4) and Red Eddies (2-9) engaged in a rough-and-tumble battle throughout most of the game before both teams calmed down after being called for numerous penalties.

“It sure was (physical),” Rowell said. “Almost a little too physical at one point. We had to get our composure back. We are about the passing and catching elements of the game. As you can see, it worked out for us.”

EL experienced an offensive lull in the first quarter and allowed Oxford Hills’ attack to flourish and score a pair of goals.

Junior Tommy Bancroft put the Vikes on the scoreboard, with assistance from senior Xavier Balzano. Lang followed with a goal with help from Bancroft, giving Oxford Hills a 2-0 lead.

The second quarter featured a three-goal outburst by the psyched-up Vikings. Lang flung in back-to-back goals, with Balzano collecting another assist. Bancroft punched in his second goal all by himself.

Edward Little’s Tyler Smith, right, tries to slow down Oxford Hills’ Owen Orlando as he heads up the field during Friday’s lacrosse game. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

Edward Little’s offense finally came around when Tyler Smith scored thanks to a helping hand from junior Caleb Davis.

“We were off to a bit of a slow start, but just didn’t capitalize on the opportunities we had,” Edward Little coach Tom Smith said. “Always a 100 percent (from them). They have been fantastic all year long. They give me everything they’ve got.

“I think they (Vikings) played well. They have a solid game plan.” 

“So we got Lewiston next week and that’s got to be a win to get into the playoffs.”

Oxford Hills’ Tommy Bancroft powers past an Edward Little defender on his way to fire a shot on goal during Friday’s lacrosse game, Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

Oxford Hills headed into the second half with a comfortable 5-1 lead. The third quarter turned into a fierce offensive battle, with each team scoring three goals apiece.

Davis used a Cameron Audette assist and scored his goal at 10:19 for the Red Eddies. 

Not to be outdone, Oxford Hills quickly responded with a pair of goals just seconds apart. Balzano and Mo Karim each slipped in a score, with Lang being credited with both assists. They were followed by Blaine Cyr’s unassisted goal at 7:14.

At 6:59, Audette’s shot slapped the cords with an assist going to junior Storm Jipson for EL. The Red Eddies left the third quarter with their third goal when Smith made good on Audette’s assistance and scored, but the Vikings were still in control with an 8-4 lead.

The Vikings threw the Red Eddies a parting shot when Oxford Hills’ Blaine Cyr scored unassisted with 6:35 left in the game.

Edward Little’s Leighton Girardin wins a faceoff during Friday’s game agains Oxford Hills. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham


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