LEWISTON — There were moments when the cross-town rivalry between Edward Little and Lewiston became intense — even in both teams’ final 7-on-7 touch football game of the season.

But in the end, all Blue Devils coach Darren Hartley and Red Eddies skipper Dave Sterling wanted to talk about was how their teams remained together in a world turned upside-down by COVID-19.

Edward Little came out on top with an 18-6 victory on a clear but cold Friday night under the lights.

For Sterling, watching his athletes maintain their discipline and roll with the punches this season was most important to him.

“It was a lot of fun. It is great that Lewiston lets us come over and play,” Sterling said. “We just want a season. This is just single-touch football. A lot of these guys want to get into pads, play a game. It is tough to reel them back in. You’ve got to love the passion of these guys.

“We got 45 guys who stayed and practiced since July 6. To deny them an opportunity (to play tackle football) is so wrong. This is just a scrimmage. People are posting scores in the paper. That is giving credence that, ‘Oh, you’ve got a season.’ This not a season. These guys know that. Players are frustrated. They want a real season and they deserve it. We still have the lowest COVID numbers in the country.”

While touch football isn’t the same as a physical game complete with players wearing equipment, both teams’ desire to win was visible Friday.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Red Eddies struck first. Junior quarterback Jeff Keefe, who threw three TD passes, kept EL moving in the second quarter. He connected on three deep passes to seniors Devonte Scott, Tyson Green and freshman freshman Gavin Therriault to put the Eddies in striking distance. Keefe then tossed a TD pass to junior wide receiver Jason Brooker (two TDs). The conversion failed, but EL was the scoreboard first with a 6-0 lead. 

The Blue Devils remained scoreless until the third quarter. Quarterback Matthew Dube threw three complete passes in a row to bring Lewiston to the 20-yard line. From there, Dube connected with Dalton Lajoie for a touchdown. The conversion failed, but the score was tied at 6-6. 

“We have a come along way in just three weeks in the 7-on-7 game,” Hartley said. “Proud of our young guys tonight.

“Even though we had our opportunities to finish, I am really proud of the O-line group coming out in the second half and answering. It was really a positive moment. Like I said, I wish it ended a little bit different, but I am really proud of my seniors and where they helped bring our program.”

The Red Eddies put the game away in the fourth quarter. Keefe sent over his second TD pass to Brooker from the 3-yard line with 9:23 left in the fourth quarter. Zak Therriault then caught a touchdown pass from Keefe with 42 second left on the clock to cap the 18-6 win.

Edward Little senior lineman Ben Poland, who was sidelined with an injury, was proud of his team.

“Our boys did an amazing job,” Poland said. “I think we were amazing, especially on defense. We executed. We didn’t allow big plays. We did a good job.”

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