AUBURN — Once Jamier Rose and Noble found a rhythm, there wasn’t much Edward Little could do to stop it.

Rose ran for four touchdowns and the Knights defeated the Red Eddies 33-14 on Friday in the first regular-season football game on the new turf field at Edward Little High School.

“That’s exactly what we want out of Jamier,” Noble coach Keenon Blindow said. “He’s a special athlete, and he’s a competitor. He made the right reads and the right plays at the right time, and that’s what we need out of him to be successful.”

Rose racked up 183 yards rushing on 18 carries. The junior converted from running back to quarterback this season, so QB keepers were part of Noble’s game plan. But he also made a lot of plays when he saw openings.

“It kind of just happened. My line blocked for me really well,” Rose said. “It was really just natural. When I think a lot, I go down, but when it’s natural, I just kind of go.”

The teams battled back and forth with no score for more than a quarter until the Red Eddies (0-1) broke through early in the second quarter, shortly after they took over at Noble’s 7-yard line thanks to a fumbled snap on a punt.


Two plays later, quarterback Jacob Grealish lobbed a pass to the goal line where Bennett DuBois caught the ball to put the Red Eddies up 6-0 with 8:37 left in the opening half.

Noble (1-0) controlled the remainder of the half.

A long kick return by Chris Buckman set the Knights up at their own 42. Three long runs by Rose and a Rose-to-Hayden Davis connection put Noble at the Eddies’ 22. Rose ran it in from there to put the Knights up 7-6.

Rose’s four runs on the drive all gained 12 yards or more. Up to that point, most of Noble’s offensive success came on runs by Rose. But after the first score, running lanes opened for the Knights’ running backs, particularly Kaden Dustin, who finished with 19 carries for 119 yards.

“We got the kinks out in the first quarter … and I think once the second quarter hit we kind of got to doing what we do best, and the rest took care of itself,” Blindow said. “And I’m just really proud of the kids.”

Edward Little’s next drive started with a sack and then an interception by Noble’s Tommy Gagnon.


The Knights took four minutes to drive to the Edward Little 1-yard line, from which Rose scored on fourth-and-1 to make it 13-6 with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter.

After halftime, the Eddies attempted an onside kick but Noble recovered. In seven plays the Knights drove 49 yards, capped by a 4-yard run by Gagnon.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Rose ran 58 yards for another score to extend the lead to 26-6. He found a wide-open lane and ran toward the Noble sideline. DuBois ran from the other side of the field and tried to cut off Rose’s path, but Rose changed directions and again opened up his path to the end zone.

“I saw my lane, so I took it, and then No. 4 (DuBois) was chasing me, so I just cut it back,” Rose said.

The Red Eddies’ offense made its biggest play of the game on its next drive. After picking up a first down with a pass to Jack Pepin, Grealish threw a rope to DuBois in stride for a 44-yard touchdown.

“That was nice play,” Red Eddies coach Rick Kramer said.


Edward Little was within two scores, 26-14, with 10:32 left. Eddies kicker Kayla Therriault pulled off an onside kick that was recovered by Davon Pontoo. The resulting possession reached the 25 of Noble before Edward Little turned the ball over on downs.

Rose all but ended the Red Eddies’ hopes for a comeback midway through the Knights’ next drive. They were facing third-and-20, but Rose ran for 20 yards to pick up the first down. Six plays later, he scored his fourth TD on a 1-yard keeper to make it 33-14.

Rose also completed 8 of 11 passes for 59 yards. Noble finished with 332 yards rushing and 391 yards of total offense.

Rose also intercepted a pass late in the first half when Edward Little attempted a flea-flicker with strong-armed receiver Drew Smith — who has committed to play baseball at the University of Connecticut.

The Knights, coming off a 1-7 season in Class B and moving up to Class A for the first time in more than a decade, savored starting the 2023 season with a victory.

“It’s huge, I think, for us and our program,” Blindow said. “We told the kids, ‘Let’s prove that we belong,’ and that was a big statement game for us, that we belong in Class A. The kids believing that and showing that tonight was just exceptional.”


“Oh, this is a huge win, but this is just the start,” Rose said. “This is a huge win. This changes the course for our entire season. We needed this.”

Edward Little, meanwhile, had some great moments — Grealish’s long TD pass, the successful onside kick, a few nice third-and-long conversions — but was frustrated with Friday’s result.

“I’m disappointed in our play,” Kramer said. “We could have played better. It’s my fault. My job is to get them ready to play, and they (Noble) mentally were much better than us prepared to play, more physical up front. We made some mistakes and we got a couple of kids hurt.”

The Red Eddies lost starting running back Hunter Baker to an early injury and finished with 5 yards rushing and 121 yards of total offense.

“He’s a huge part of our offense, and I don’t know if we’re going to be having him for a long time, so that’s kind of worrisome,” Kramer said. “But one person can’t take down your team. I think part of their hope got a little socked when they saw our best running back went down.”

Grealish completed 13 of 24 passes for 116 yards and two scores. DuBois caught four passes for 79 yards, including hauling in Grealish’s two touchdown passes.

The Red Eddies lost several key players to injury for stretches of the game, which forced underclassmen to step up. Kramer was proud of how the younger players performed, particularly sophomores Pontoo and Lyric Veinott and freshman Evan Madigan.

“Once you have four or five of your best players hurt, you’re struggling looking around, ‘Who’s going to take their spot?'” Kramer said. “Now, a lot of younger kids stepped in, especially some sophomores, and a freshman or two, and you can’t beat that.”

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