LEWISTON — Everything Oxford Hills tried on offense seemed to work, as the Vikings’ first five touchdowns were scored in different fashions on the way to a 54-0 Class A football victory over Lewiston on Saturday at Don Roux Field.

“It’s awesome. The feeling is awesome that you know that you’ve got five guys that can step up and do it,” Oxford Hills senior Wyatt Knightly said. “And we got more than five.”

Junior quarterback Eli Soehren opened the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run on the Vikings’ (1-0) first drive of the game. He also added a pair of first-half touchdown passes, of 36 and 47 yards, to Matthew Doucette.

The first scoring strike put the Vikings up 14-0. Soehren kicked the PAT after each of the first two touchdowns.

That was the score going into the second quarter, then fullback Isaiah Oufiero started the period with a 2-yard tumble into the end zone.

“We knew we were up against it and we couldn’t make any mistakes, and wanted to try to hang around early,” Lewiston coach Darren Hartley said. “But they dominated us up front. They dictated the pace of the game immediately, and we got a couple guys dinged up and we just didn’t respond. So it’s been a long week, it’s been a long couple of weeks, that was a long night.”

Knightly and Peter Morrison — who split time at running back — added touchdown runs of 10 and 12 yards, respectively, and Soehren’s second TD pass to Doucette rounded out the first-half scoring for a 41-0 lead.

“It’s nice to have those weapons,” Vikings coach Mark Soehren said. “We weren’t necessarily targeting any one of our guys, it just happened those guys got open. It’s a luxury.”

The disparity on the scoreboard extended to the overall production, as the Vikings outgained the Blue Devils (0-1) 266-4 in the first half.

Lewiston was without junior starting running back Eli Bigelow, which Hartley said was a big blow to the team. The Blue Devils also were without 19 players, including 10 starters, up until Wednesday because of COVID-19 protocols.

The Vikings didn’t need to punt in the first half, while Lewiston freshman lineman Joseph Dube was tasked with punting it back to Oxford Hills at the end of each of the Blue Devils’ first six drives. A seventh drive brought the game to halftime with Lewiston facing another fourth down after a three-and-out.

“Just like the physicality with it, everyone on our defense is physical and has the same goal. We don’t want to let up a first down, we don’t want to let you get a yard,” Knightly said. “We want to push you backwards, and when everyone’s thinking like that, and just thinking about their responsibilities — because that’s the most important thing, is knowing what you got to do, and then off of what you got to do, going to the spot and making the play.

“It just feels good that you have 11 guys back there that are all on the same page.”

The Blue Devils tried changing things up on offense throughout the first half, but were held to one first down. Junior Kameron Caron and sophomore Michael Klick both took turns at quarterback, Caron spent some time at running back, Farid Muhammed-Aceto was the main running back and Donovan Jackson and Dylan Allen both scampered with the ball on outside runs. It all accounted for three completions for 14 yards and 15 rushes for minus-10 yards.

“Philosophically, coming in, we were going to go about 22 guys deep,” Hartley said. “And I wasn’t trying to give the game away, but I’m trying to impress to the guys we’re young — and even senior guys are inexperienced. We have very little varsity football experience. So we knew we wanted to play a lot of guys tonight, we were going to play some young kids and try to use our depth and try to get through this experience.”

The Vikings scored again out of halftime, with Oufiero finishing off the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run.

Lewiston countered with a drive that included its second first down of the game, but Oxford Hills took the ball back when Dakota Grassi picked off Klick on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Knightly scored the game’s final touchdown, a 1-yard touchdown run on a play that he was stationed at quarterback.

He finished with 48 yards rushing on 10 carries including a kneeldown to end the game — while also completing both of his passing attempts for 19 more yards.

Soehren was 6 for 9 passing for 139 yards, and he also added five carries for 75 yards.

“I know he was excited about the game, and I was way more nervous than he was. So he had fun,” Mark Soehren said of his son. “And it’s really easy to be a quarterback when you’ve got all the weapons he has, as well. So it was a good night for him and the team.”

 

WEEK 1 SCORES
Friday
Bonny Eagle 49, Edward Little 20
Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale 41, Bucksport 20
Foxcroft 33, Lisbon 16
Mt. Ararat/Hyde 42, Spruce Mountain 12
Lawrence 56, Mt. Blue 3
Boothbay 26, Dirigo 0
Saturday
Telstar 62, Traip 6
Oxford Hills 54, Lewiston 0

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