PARIS — When it rains, it pours for opposing defenses trying to slow down the Oxford Hills offense.

Bonny Eagle was the latest tasked with stopping the deluge that the Vikings attack creates, but top-seeded Oxford Hills washed away the fifth-seeded Scots 36-0 in a Class A state semifinal in the rain Friday.

Quarterback Eli Soehren was 15 of 20 passing for 176 yards passing and factored into all five touchdowns — throwing three and running for two.

“I think the biggest thing is that they’re just really good with a lot of weapons, and they have a guy running the show that is calm, cool and collected back there and just makes things happen,” Bonny Eagle coach Kevin Cooper said.

On the defensive side, the Vikings secured their first shutout of the season, while the Scots were shut out for the first time since 2009.

“They were phenomenal. I think (Bonny Eagle) had 18 yards at half. They threw for 333 yards against us last time we played them, and so we knew that they were dangerous that way,” said Oxford Hills coach Mark Soehren, referring to the Vikings’ 41-17 win over the Scots on Oct. 7. “And they’ve got good athletes and they’re well-coached, and their quarterback has a strong arm and he’s very good. So we were very concerned about what they could possibly do, coming off that 330-yard offensive performance by just the quarterback.


“When we did that in the first half — it was 6-3 last time against them, as well — so that was a huge statement for us. This is a great defense that we have, and we haven’t had a shutout yet, so it was nice to finally get a shutout.”

Oxford Hills (10-0) advances to next Saturday’s Class A state championship game against No. 2 Thornton Academy. It’s a rematch of last year’s title game, which Thornton won 42-27. The Golden Trojans defeated Sanford 38-8 in Friday’s other semifinal.

The Vikings, who have been ranked No. 1 in the Varsity Maine football poll since early in the season, had the ball first Friday and methodically marched 69 yards in 14 plays, including a fourth-down conversion run by Eli Soehren. The senior finished out the drive six plays later on a scramble, diving to the pylon for a 12-yard touchdown run. He then kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Oxford Hills lead.

“We didn’t know when this rain was going to come in, so we took the ball and wanted to establish ourselves a bit, and see what they were doing,” Mark Soehren said. “… So, yeah, it was a great way to start the game. You know, we had some great conversions, the kids, they were clutch in a couple of those situations.”

Bonny Eagle’s (6-5) first possession ended with a three-and-out, and a short punt gave the Vikings the ball back at the Scots’ 44-yard line.

The Scots forced two incompletions on the drive, but Soehren completed three passes, including a 13-yard TD toss to a wide-open Jake Carson in the flat. Soehren’s kick made a 14-0 lead for Oxford Hills with less than a minute left in the first quarter.


The rain came down after that, and the Scots’ second drive began with one play in the first quarter before transitioning into the second.

Bonny Eagle, on the back of four straight completions by senior QB Cam Marcello, pushed the ball into Oxford Hills territory. However, the Vikings defense forced Marcello into a loss of yards on a third-down scramble to squash the drive.

Senior defensive back Tanner Bickford said the Oxford Hills defense was able to make some effective adjustments against the Bonny Eagle passing attack.

“I don’t know, just kind of focused on their key players and shut them down. And after that, it just kind of went smoother,” Bickford said.

A punt put the Vikings at their own 12-yard line, and the ensuing drive fizzled out at the 30. But Soehren blasted a booming punt that rolled down to the 2-yard line, where a Bonny Eagle returner grabbed the ball, took it into his own end zone on the run, then was able to escape back out to the Scots’ 2.

On the next play, an offensive holding call against the Scots gave the Vikings a safety for a 16-0 lead.


“You know, we almost had an interception on our sideline on the third-down play. And, unfortunately, Eli uncorks probably about a 70-yard punt or so,” Cooper said. “And we’re trying to throw out of the end zone, because we think that’s the best deal for us, and we get a holding penalty and the safety. That was really hard, mentally, to come back from.”

Oxford Hills’ ensuing possession started off rough, with Nick Riker sacking Soehren for an 11-yard loss back to the Vikings’ 37. That only gave the Vikings more ground to cover on a five-play drive into the end zone, which Soehren capped with a 25-yard TD pass to Bickford, who bobbled the pass, grabbed it away from a Bonny Eagle defender, then scampered and made two more defenders miss before scoring.

“I honestly didn’t even know I had the ball in my hands,” Bickford said. “But once I got it, just knew I needed to score, make it easier for the team, and make it a lot easier to go to the state game.”

The extra point was blocked, but Oxford Hills’ lead was up to 22-0.

Another Bonny Eagle three-and-out gave the Vikings one last possession in the first half. They made the most of it, with Soehren going 5 for 5 for 53 yards, including a 15-yard TD pass to Teigan Pelletier with 44 seconds left before intermission. Soehren’s kick gave Oxford Hills a 29-0 halftime lead.

“I thought the last part of the second quarter was not great for us,” Cooper said. “I think we got a little nervous, and things aren’t going our way. And really that last touchdown right before the first half ends was a tough one for us.”


Bonny Eagle was held to 13 yards in the first half and ran only 13 offensive plays, while Oxford Hills ran 36. Soehren had all but one of his completions and all but one of his passing yards in the first half.

The second half didn’t start any better for Bonny Eagle. Top running back Trevor Perkins was held to a 5-yard loss on the first play of the third quarter and consecutive Marcello passes were well-defended, forcing the Scots into a three-and-out.

The Vikings got the ball back at the Bonny Eagle 21 after a short punt and needed just four plays to punch in the game’s final touchdown.

It was Soehren who did the honors, running in from 5 yards out, then making the extra point, to round out the scoring at 36-0.

The entire fourth quarter was played in Oxford Hills’ end, but the Scots couldn’t find the end zone, with the Vikings stopping Bonny Eagle’s final two drives inside the red zone.

Marcello was held to 10 of 22 passing for 64 yards with two interceptions.

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