LEWISTON — Defense ruled the day, and now Lewiston will rule the Battle of the Bridge rivalry for a calendar year. The Blue Devils beat Edward Little 13-7 Friday night in a Class A football season finale at Don Roux Field.

“Our offense kind of struggled, so the defense picked us up and it was a classic game,” Lewiston (2-7) coach Justin Bisson said. “But this is Lewiston football right here. This is tough defense, this is Lewiston, the way we’ve always played it.”

As he was clutching the Alan J. Clark Memorial Trophy that goes to the winning team after the game, Bisson said to a huddled collection of Lewiston and Edward Little players and coaches at midfield that Friday night’s game — and Blue Devils win — was better than the victory he was a part of as a Lewiston player 25 years ago.

It took one final key defensive play by the Blue Devils to end it, as Drew Smith’s Hail Mary from the Edward Little 39-yard line was knocked down as time ran out.

Lewiston senior Donovan Jackson, who intercepted a Red Eddies (0-9) pass earlier in the game, said it felt great to watch Smith’s pass fall to the ground and put the nail in the coffin.

“Great defense,” Jackson said. “My teammates are great. I love them. I love them all.”

After Jackson fumbled away a promising drive on Lewiston’s opening possession of the game, Eli Bigelow found paydirt on the Blue Devils’ second drive. A penalty — one of nine in the first half for Lewiston — pushed the Blue Devils back to the Edward Little 48, but Bigelow found room and ran up the right sideline for a 48-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed, making it 6-0 late in the first quarter.

The Red Eddies finally got a first down on the ensuing drive — their third possession of the game — and got into Lewiston territory before Jackson intercepted a deep pass. The Blue Devils went three-and-out, but Ethan Campbell spoiled the Red Eddies’ next drive, which reached the Lewiston 15, with another interception.

Edward Little pushed the Blue Devils back to their own 2-yard line, and a short punt and a Jason Brooker 10-yard return gave the Red Eddies first-and-goal at the 8-yard line. Edward Little only went backwards, and Brody Keefe’s 29-yard field goal attempt was just short with 1:37 left in the first half.

“Any time you don’t score, that’s tough,” Edward Little coach Dave Sterling said. “But that’s the name of the game. Those things happen. You just got to build and try to get forward and go from there.”

The Blue Devils’ final drive of the first half ended, fittingly, with another penalty. Lewiston accrued 85 yards in penalties despite outgaining Edward Little 140-28.

“We just told them (at halftime) to clean it up. We told them that the lead should be a little bit bigger than it was,” Bisson said. “We were playing pretty well, we were moving the ball pretty well, defensively we were playing lights-out, we were doing really well, but we just had to clean up the mistakes. The guys came in, and we also told the seniors, ‘Hey, you got 24 minutes of football left.’ So they came out, they were ready to go. The first series, we were a little flat, but we picked it up and we cleaned up the mistakes a little bit.”

Edward Little had minus-19 yards in the third quarter before getting back into positive yardage in the fourth quarter.

Lewiston again scored on its second drive of a half, finding the end zone 4:20 into the third quarter on Kameron Caron’s 21-yard touchdown run.

The drive started in Edward Little territory after Jackson’s 39-yard punt return brought the ball to the 31. The touchdown came one play after a Caron 10-yard run on the opening play. Caron converted the PAT, giving Lewiston a 13-0 lead.

“(On the punt return) I was thinking I would just put my teammates in the best place. Put my teammates in the best position just to get the win,” Jackson said.

Edward Little got on the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter on Jack Keefe’s 12-yard QB keeper touchdown run, and brother Brody made the PAT to cut it to 13-7.

“That’s why he’s such a great leader,” Sterling said of Keefe bouncing back from throwing three interceptions to score the touchdown. “That’s why he’s a leader in three different sports in our community, and I couldn’t be more proud of a young man. Him, Gavin Lepage and (Jason) Brooker. Brooker stepped up and made some excellent plays. He got us in that scoring position by picking up a short punt off the bounce and returning it.”

The Red Eddies attempted an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but the Blue Devils recovered it and killed nearly two minutes off the clock.

Edward Little’s last-gasp drive from their own 22 with 14 seconds left ran out of room and time.

“Well, we moved it … and we got ourselves a chance to move the ball further down the field. So I was kind of happy about that,” Sterling said. “That was the thing, the guys didn’t just get the ball and get concerned. They were ready to try to make a score. And that’s the never-quit that a lot of players have.”

Keefe finished 8 of 16 passing after completing just one pass in the first half. Jackson was an efficient 11 of 14 passing, outgaining Keefe 63-62 in the air.

On the ground is where Lewiston really had the edge, outgaining Edward Little 126-41.

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