Jack Keefe of Edward Little High School trips up James Neel of Bangor during the first half in Auburn. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — That Edward Little’s fourth drive of the game ended with a punt was a bit of a positive for the Red Eddies, considering how their first three drives ended.

Bangor’s fourth drive ended with a touchdown, and it gave the Rams a blueprint for how to win Friday night’s Class A football matchup.

The Rams stuck to that game plan, while the Red Eddies were struck by the injury bug countless times in a 28-0 Bangor win at Walton Field.

Bangor (3-3) ran the ball on third-and-2 on the final play of the first quarter. That play, a 13-yard run by Joey Morrison, gave the Rams a first down, and Morrison eventually capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 Bangor.

“We try to take what they were going to give us, and they played tough, and their defensive line — you know, we’ve been running outside a little bit the last couple weeks and they kept us at bay there, and we just thought that we could run the ball inside,” Bangor coach Dave Morris said. “So trying to give them a couple formations from that, going out of the ‘I’ and then going out of our spread. It just worked out great for us.”

Morrison ran the ball only once in the Rams’ first three drives, all of which ended in punts. He was given the ball a lot more after that, finishing with 28 carries for 174 yards and three touchdowns.

“He’s been playing that way all year long,” Morris said. “Our line did a great job giving him some openings, and he made some outstanding cuts. And same with Jonny Lyon and all of our backs.

“We just felt as though if we just attacked them downhill then good things can happen for us.”

The Red Eddies’ (0-6) first three drives all ended in disaster. Giles Paradie was intercepted on the first play of the game, and then again three plays into EL’s third drive. On the Eddies’ second drive, Paradie was stopped short on fourth-and-2.

Edward Little lineman Nick Kaiser was injured on that failed fourth-down conversion. Lineman going down became a trend in the game for the Red Eddies, who were down three players on the offensive line by halftime.

“It dramatically affects the game plan,” EL coach Dave Sterling said. “Especially at any high school level, you’re lucky to be one or two players deep, and then when the second player goes down, it’s a lot of work.”

The punt to end EL’s fourth drive wasn’t much of a happy ending either. It came two plays after a penalty for an ineligible player downfield negated a would-be Paradie touchdown pass to Cam Yorke.

“We moved the ball well at times,” Sterling said. “We had a touchdown taken off the board because one person was out of position. You know, that was at the beginning of the game, could have made the difference on swinging the mood at the beginning of the game.”

The Red Eddies’ next two drives ended on fourth-down attempts, as the Bangor pass rush blew up both plays. The first ended with Paradie getting called for intentional grounding, the second with alternate quarterback Jack Keefe being sacked by a Bangor blitz.

“Obviously, our secondary did a great job in holding things up. But you win the game up front,” Morris said. “We got some pressure. Our defensive ends and interior guys and linebackers did a great job of getting pressure.”

Neither team moved the ball for much yardage in the first half. Bangor had 91 yards, and EL only 64, including 23 on the ground.

The Rams ran the ball much better after halftime, picking up 182 yards on the ground to finish with 245 yards rushing.

“It was very tough (stopping Bangor’s run game),” Sterling said. “We were too deep in injuries, and guys that were JV players were trying to play against a varsity team, and anytime you do that at high school you got a lot of work to do.”

Bangor’s three touchdowns in the second half all came in the fourth quarter, with Morrison running in two of them and Lyon the other. Cason Markevich made all four of his extra points.

Edward Little finished with just 2 yards rushing, thanks in part to a handful of Bangor sacks. Paradie (4 of 8), Keefe (2 of 4), and Aiden Charest (4 of 8) combined for 77 yards passing.

Sterling said the plan now for his team, which travels to Mt. Blue next week, is to “recover and re-coach.”

“That’s why we coach,” he added. “Once those (injuries) happen, you got to coach the other people to play better and get them ready for the next week.”

Devonte Scott of Edward Little High School spins his way to more yardage during Friday’s game against Bangor in Auburn. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Cam Irish and Tony Fournier, left, of Edward Little High School take down a Bangor ball carrier during the first half in Auburn on Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Edward Little High School quarterback Giles Paradie throws to Cam Yorke during the first half of Friday’s game against Bangor. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Noah Jordan of Edward Little High School finds running room after a first half reception against Bangor on Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Edward Little High School quarterback Jack Keefe gets pushed out of the pocket during the second quarter against Bangor on Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Gavin LePage of Edward Little High School listens to head coach Dave Sterling during a timeout in Auburn on Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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