PARIS — When Oxford Hills had the ball good things usually happened.

The problem for the Vikings was that they didn’t have the ball much in the first half, and that allowed Edward Little to keep the game close.

Then the Vikings got the football to start the second half, and they scored, and scored, and scored some more.

A four-touchdown third quarter turned the close game into a rout and a 49-14 Oxford Hills victory Saturday.

“Our coach, when we were in halftime, he really pumped us up and said, ‘We’re not going to lose homecoming like this,'” Vikings junior receiver Addison Brown said. “So we really put our heads and our minds together and made it work for us.”

Brown was talking about the Vikings as a whole, but he could have easily been talking about he and junior quarterback Atticus Soehren putting their minds together. Soehren connected with Brown three times for touchdowns in the third, and Soehren ran for the quarter’s other score.

“I trust Addison any day of the week, any plays,” Soehren said. “He gets open, he knows where he’s got to be, and it makes my job so much easier.”

The first scoring hook-up came from 11 yards out on the Vikings’ (3-2) opening drive of the second half. And it came one play after a high Soehren throw sailed through Brown’s hands in the end zone.

“I was thinking, ‘I need to make a play for my team, and I need to get things going, get some pride going,'” Brown said.

The catch-and-run for a touchdown made it 21-7. Soehren next took the ball himself for a 2-yard TD run, and hit Brown for 42- and 36-yard scores.

The Red Eddies (0-5) were hoping to have the first drive out of halftime, but a Misha Boulet onsides kick that Cooper Watkins recovered was ruled to have been touched by Watkins prior to advancing the necessary 10 yards.

“That was huge,” Edward Little coach Dave Sterling said. “You know, the ruling on that, I’m not going to get into. But we wanted to try to change the tone going into the second half, and they obviously got the ball off a penalty from that.”

The Red Eddies barely touched the ball again until midway through the fourth quarter, trading a trio of three-and-outs and a four-and-out in exchange for Oxford Hills touchdowns.

“We have a talented front seven, and we knew that we’d probably stop that run game if we were doing the things we were trying to do,” Vikings coach Mark Soehren said.

It was a different story in the first half. The Vikings did take a 14-0 lead on touchdown runs by Colby VanDecker and JJ Worster in the first quarter, but had just one possession in the second quarter — thanks in part to a muffed punt that gave the ball back to EL — and penalties stalled that drive in EL territory.

The Red Eddies ran 33 offensive plays to the Vikings’ 18 in the first half. Edward Little quarterback Jack Keefe’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Cam Yorke midway through the second quarter cut the deficit in half.

Sterling said the Eddies’ game plan was to try and control the ball as much as possible. It worked in the first half, but, he said, “Oxford Hills adjusted very well in the second half.”

“We need to get a little bit better on the offensive line, as well as in the secondary,” Sterling added.

Soehren added a touchdown pass to Jordan Smith in the fourth quarter. He was 8 of 11 passing in the game for 128 yards. His second-half totals were 6 of 7 for 119 yards, and he completed his final six passes.

VanDecker was a workhorse in the first three quarters, carrying the ball 17 times for 116 yards.

Keefe and Giles Paradie split time at quarterback for EL. Keefe was 5 of 8 for 42 yards. Paradie started and was 4 of 6 for 38, including an 8-yard scoring strike to John Shea in the final minute of the game.


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