By Patrick Carson
TURNER —The Oxford Hills 7th Grade Vikings traveled to Leavitt Football Field this past Saturday night to take on equally undefeated Tripp Middle School.
The first half of the game lived up to the anticipation as the Vikings took an 8-0 lead into halftime. The second half of the game was a different story, as the Vikings dominated the line of scrimmage and outscored Tripp 28-6 to run away with the 36-6 victory.
“Our offensive line imposed their will,” commented head coach John Pinto. “In the end, we were more physical and that showed in the second half.”
Center Meki Hill, guards Timmy Hemmingway and Spencer Woodworth, tackles Leif Morse and Dallys Eastman, and tight ends Holden Shaw and Lincoln Merrill provided huge running lanes in the second half for running backs Tre Morrison, Tanner Bickford and Tiegan Pelletier all to score on long touchdown runs.
The passing game was again productive for the Vikings, as Eli Soehren connected with Lincoln Merrill for his fifth touchdown catch of the year.
“I have coached 7th grade for quite a few years and this is a unique group,” added coach Pinto. “Never before have we had so many talented offensive and defensive linemen. We’re two deep and every line position. This group, when combined with the previous two years, will be special when they are in high school.”
The future of the Oxford Hills Football Vikings looks bright, especially when you consider the current success of the 7th, 8th and 9th grade programs. All are enjoying winnings seasons with a combined 14-2 record and demonstrating strong play on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
The current 7th grade Vikings team is indicative of the efforts of a strong Youth Boosters Football program. Currently 38 players make up the 7th grade roster, which is the largest roster ever at the 7th grade level.
“Both the quantity and quality of players at the Middle School program is a great indicator of the volunteer coaches and their efforts at the Boosters level,” commented Varsity Head Coach Mark Soehren. “More and more, Oxford Hills kids are playing football again and at a high level, which is great when you look at our future. It’s special to wear the green and gold and play for this community.”
The 7th and 8th grade Vikings will be home this Saturday, 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Gouin Field.