Oxford Hills believes it is ready for Bonny Eagle. 

After three wins to start the 2021 season that included the Vikings putting a lot of points on the scoreboards, they have a lot of confidence heading into their showdown with the Scots on Saturday morning.

However, after shutting out its first two opponents, Oxford Hills gave up 13 points to Skowhegan in Week 3. In the days since that game, coach Mark Soehren has had the team focus on the fundamentals. 

Oxford Hills’ Matt Doucette, Teigan Pelletier and Isaiah Oufiero celebrate after scoring a touchdown against Sanford on Sept. 10. Brewster Burns photo

“Against Skowhegan we used a lot of our skill and strength to overpower them, but we were kind of exposed and we need to work on that this week,” Soehren said. “I don’t think we overlooked them; they had lost a couple games, which surprised me with how good they were, but they’re going to get stronger. We need to be more fundamentally sound.”

Soehren said that in the past his team has fell victim to “trap games” — games that are played a week before highly anticipated matchups — but said this year’s team is different. 

“They’ve had some success growing up and they play with more confidence,” Soehren said. “It feels with this group that we don’t have to convince them that we can beat a team, they just come out and perform. This week, with the kids, they’re just ready to play. I know in speaking with (quarterback) Eli (Soehren), these games are the most fun, the most competitive ones. I know the kids are looking forward to the opportunity and Bonny Eagle is going to be ready for us.”

Bonny Eagle, like Oxford Hills, is 3-0 this season and is coming off back-to-back wins against Scarborough (20-6) and Kennebunk (54-42).

“I think our confidence is high,” Eli Soehren said. “We are a great team, we just need to get more fundamentally sound. They have a lot of options to go to, and we need to stop them. (Bonny Eagle’s Aidan Walcott), he can run a jet (sweep), fastest kid in the state. Their QB is good, their (running) back is good, their line is always good and we can’t doubt them. We need to come out here and work at it. Our swagger is back. We won’t back down, think we are gonna lose, we are going to come at them.”

Walcott won the 100- and 200-meter dash state championships at the Class A meet in June. Another Scots weapon, Zac Oja, scored three times in Bonny Eagle’s come-from-behind win against Kennebunk last Friday.

The Vikings take pride in their start, and it has boosted their confidence.

“There’s no question it has helped,” Mark Soehren said of his team’s start. “We score a lot and we have athleticism, but we need to make sure we can sustain drives — and teams are going to take away those big-play opportunities — you need to do that if you’re going to beat teams like Bonny Eagle. I think it is nice coming in 3-0, so we will build on that.”


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