Oxford Hills found itself playing in multiple “state games of the week” this season.

The Vikings passed each test and proved to anyone who asked that, yes, they are for real — even in their lone loss of the season to Thornton, which included one of of the worst quarters imaginable but also three quarters of going toe-to-toe with Class A’s top regular season team.

Second-seeded Oxford Hills (8-1) will get another shot at top-seeded Thornton Academy (10-0) in the Class A state championship game Saturday at 11 a.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

The Golden Trojans have won four gold balls since 2012 (most recently in 2018), while the Vikings are playing in their second state title game, and their first since 1999.

Oxford Hills’ march to the state championship game started with a decisive win over Lewiston and ended with a decisive win over Bonny Eagle, their second victory of the season over one of Class A’s perennial powerhouses.

Oxford Hills’ Teigan Pelletier leaps up to congratulate Matthew Doucette after a touchdown during the season opener against Lewiston on Sept. 4 in Lewiston. Doucette had two first-half touchdown catches. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Sept. 4: Oxford Hills 54, Lewiston 0
The surprise wasn’t so much that the Vikings won this game, but that they won so thoroughly. Oxford Hills’ first five touchdowns were scored by five different players, hinting at the team’s versatility and depth. The Vikings’ lines were dominant. Oxford Hills led 41-0 at half and outgained Lewiston 266-4 in the first two quarters.

Oxford Hills receiver Teigan Pelletier jumps and stretches to grab his second long reception game from quarterback Eli Soehren during a Week 2 win over Sanford at Gouin Athletic Complex in Paris on Sept. 10. Brewster Burns photo

Sept. 10: Oxford Hills 43, Sanford 0
Another week, another shutout for the Vikings. The first score of the game introduced a weapon that wasn’t utilized too much in the opener: Long passes by quarterback Eli Soehren to sophomore Teigan Pelletier, this one a 30-yarder. Pelletier caught three passes for 92 yards. Oxford Hills held the Spartans to 82 yards of offense, compared to 331 for the Vikings.

Sept. 17: Oxford Hills 27, Skowhegan 13
The River Hawks ended the Vikings’ scoreless streak with a first-quarter TD. Isaiah Oufiero (1-yard run) and Matt Doucette (75-yard pass from Soehren) scored second-quarter touchdowns to put the Vikings in the lead, but they never fully pulled away until Jake Carson capped the scoring with a 37-yard interception return.

With teammate Bohden Stetson going low, Oxford Hills’ Isaiah Oufiero (44) puts a hit on Bonny Eagle quarterback Terrell Edwards, jarring the ball loose during the teams’ regulars season meeting in Paris on Sept. 25. Brewster Burns photo

Sept. 25: Oxford Hills 19, Bonny Eagle 6
The Vikings’ first big game of the season. The Scots opened with an eight-minute drive, essentially running at will and taking a 6-0 lead. The Vikings’ defense didn’t break again. The Soehren-to-Pelletier passing connection set up one TD and scored another as Oxford Hills scored 19 straight points in the first half, then all but shut down Bonny Eagle in the second.

Edward Little’s Drew Smith is gang-tackled for a loss by Oxford Hills’ Dillon Worster, left, Wyatt Knightly, middle, and Trevor Danforth, right, during the first quarter of an Oct. 1 game at Walton Field in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Oct. 1: Oxford Hills 49, Edward Little 0
The Vikings scored on five consecutive first-half possessions to grab a 35-0 advantage. Wyatt Knightly and Trey Morrison each scored twice and Oxford Hills racked up 481 yards while holding the Red Eddies to 99. Soehren passed for a season-high 272 yards.

Oct. 9: Oxford Hills 77, Massabesic 0
The Vikings’ season-high scoring output included four TDs in the first quarter and five in the second, leading to a 63-0 halftime lead over the Mustangs. Soehren tossed five TD passes, two to Doucette and one apiece to Pelletier, Oufiero and Tanner Bickford, and backup QB Brady Truman threw a 68-yarder to Nick Plamondon in the third quarter. Knightly, Hayden Riley and Dakota Grassi each returned an interception for a score.

Oxford Hills’ Lincoln Merrill drives into Thornton Academy’s Bryant Nsengiyumva during an Oct. 15 game in Paris, won by Thornton 31-23. Brewster Burns photo

Oct. 15: Thornton 31, Oxford Hills 23
If this game wasn’t The Game before, it certainly became that after the Vikings beat Bonny Eagle three weeks earlier. Oxford Hills started well on both sides of the ball, scoring one TD (a pass to Grayson Foster) and driving again. Then Thornton’s Alex St. John returned a Soehren interception for a touchdown. That was the first of five first-half turnovers by the Vikings, which caused them to fall behind 24-7. Oxford Hills, though, kept battling, and even got within one score with on Soehren’s 4-yard TD pass to Oufiero with 2:28 remaining.

Oxford Hills’ Dakota Grassi puts a hard hit on Bangor’s Ben Caron after a short gain during the regular-season finale in Paris on Oct. 29. Brewster Burns photo

Oct. 29: Oxford Hills 49, Bangor 20
The Vikings’ state-game-of-the-week caliber game the week before was nixed by Scarborough’s COVID-19 issues, but next up were the Rams, who like the Vikings, played themselves into the Class A elite. Oxford Hills proved itself to be a tier above Bangor, building a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter. After the Rams returned a fumble for a score and looked like they might get back into the game, Oxford Hills’ Plamondon returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown.

Oxford Hills quarterback Eli Soehren runs around the left side with a lead block from Wyatt Knightly during their Class A semifinal game against Bonny Eagle at the Gouin Athletic Complex in Paris on Nov. 13. Brewster Burns photo

Class A semifinal
Nov. 13: Oxford Hills 34, Bonny Eagle 7
In the first meeting with the Scots, a couple of drives that the Vikings felt should have resulted in points fell short. Not this time. Soehren threw TDs to Grassi and Knightly and then ran for a 46-yard score to give Oxford Hills a 20-7 halftime lead — similar to the 19-6 halftime lead on Sept. 25, but this time the Vikings put the finishing touches on the victory with a pair of Soehren scoring strikes to Doucette. Oxford Hills’ defense intercepted two passes in the first half and then forced three-and-outs on each of the Scots’ second-half possessions.

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