By Patrick Carson
OXFORD HILLS — The Oxford Hills 7th Grade Vikings football team finished its season with a perfect record, highlighted on Oct. 28 with commanding a 38-6 victory over the Lewiston Deamons, in the Central Maine Youth Football League Championship game.
All season, the Vikings were led by a variety of players who contributed with big plays offensively and defensively. Saturday was no different with an assortment of players getting into the mix in the dominating victory.
Oxford Hills took an early 8-0 lead with great blocking from the offensive line on a bruising 18-yard touchdown run by fullback Holden Shaw, who throughout the season has contributed heavily as an offensive tackle, tight end and fullback.
“All year, Holden has been the glue to our offense,” explained Vikings head coach John Pinto. “He has been such a dominating blocker at fullback and you saw today his running ability. He’s going to be a special player.”
The Vikings then matched the quick strike play of its offense on defense. During Lewiston’s first possession, defensive linemen Lucas Clark and Zack Louvat put pressure on Lewiston’s quarterback resulting in an interception by outside linebacker Jaden Whitney who returned the ball to the 32-yard line resulting in a short field for the Viking offense.
With momentum and field possession, quarterback Eli Soehren would strike quickly hitting wide receiver Tiegen Pelletier with a 30-yard pass. Pelletier would make the first of two highlight catches on the day, this time with a fingertip diving catch down to the two-yard line, putting the Vikings within easy reach of the end zone just 4 minutes into the game.
Running back Tanner Bickford would then give Oxford Hills a 14-0 lead with a 2-yard fullback dive touchdown run.
The Vikings would continue to dominate on defense in the first half creating a second turnover off an interception. Defensive end Bowden Stetson, along with linebackers Carter Hart and Colin Barker would meet at Lewiston’s quarterback with heavy pressure on a 3rd and eight pass play, resulting in safety Bryce Atkisson picking off Lewiston’s pass attempt at the 40-yard line.
With just 1:10 left in the first half, running back Tre Morrison scored his first of two touchdowns of the day with a 28-yard run and Oxford Hills took a commanding 26-0 lead into halftime and never looked back.
“It was a perfect day for us and a great season,” added Pinto. “I’ve never coached a team with so many players (38) who all contributed and were so supportive of each other. There was never a me, me, me moment with this group. They were truly a family.”
With the 7th grade teams season coming to an end, the 8th Grade Vikings Football team will defend its 2016 Championship this Saturday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. at the Gouin Field.