Football: Oxford Hills too much for Sanford

PARIS (AP) — Brady Truman stepped in and kept Oxford Hills’ expectations high for this season.

Replacing starting quarterback Eli Soehren again, Truman led the Vikings to a 34-3 Class A football victory over Sanford on Friday at Gouin Athletic Complex.

Truman played well in relief after Soehren injured his ankle early in last week’s win over defending state champion Thornton.

In his first career start Friday, Truman completed 16 of 18 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, both to fellow junior Teigan Pelletier.

Pelletier, who is a close friend of Truman, said the Vikings weren’t worried when Soehren, the 2021 Gatorade Maine Player of the Year, went down.

As a quarterback, we’re the best of friends,” Pelletier said of Truman. “We have all classes together, we have dinner together before games, we all have chemistry. We weren’t worried about the quarterback position at all.”

Truman said leading Oxford Hills to a big win over Thornton last week boosted his self-confidence and the team’s confidence in him.

It increased my confidence, but it also helped the rest of the team’s confidence knowing that I can go in there and do things,” Truman said. “Changing Eli can be hard because he does everything, but now they know I can do it too, so he makes me feel better and they feel better.”

Truman’s connection to Pelletier aroused the Vikings. (3-0), who are ranked No. 1 in this week’s Varsity Maine poll, to a couple of early scores in Friday’s game.

On the team’s second possession, Truman found Pelletier for a 30-yard pass up the middle to set up Oxford Hills at the Sanford 2-yard line. Two plays later, Jake Carson took a straight snap and ran it up the middle for a touchdown. Brady Delamater, who replaces Soehren as the Vikings’ placekicker, made the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Oxford Hills’ Grayson Foster intercepted a pass to finish Sanford’s next possession (1-2).

Three plays into the next drive, Truman reconnected with Pelletier on a long pass, this one 43 yards for a touchdown that gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead.

Sanford’s Jayden Payeur kicked a 24-yard field goal on the ensuing drive to cut the deficit to 14-3 with 6:25 remaining in the half.

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The Spartans forced a turnover on the downs and then drove deep into Vikings territory, but Pelletier intercepted a pass with 41 seconds remaining.

We were running the field, it’s 14-3, and we got into the red zone, and we’re thinking maybe we’re going to go and score and come into halftime down 14-10,” Sanford coach Mike Fallon said. “But we threw an interception and they had to go 80 yards in 40 seconds, and they did it.”

The Vikings were 77 yards from the end zone, but Truman led the offense down the field and found Pelletier once again, this time on a faded pass in the right corner for his second touchdown drive, giving Oxford Hills a 20-3 lead. halftime.

It was the easiest decision of my life to throw it at him,” Truman said. “I had 11 seconds and I just turned around and threw it at him.”

In the first two quarters, Truman was 10-of-12 for 203 yards, while Pelletier caught four passes for 100 yards.

“Brady has been throwing Teigan forever” Oxford Hills coach Mark Soehren said. “I teach both of them in AP Physics, they have the same classes and see each other at practice every day.”

It certainly helps that Pelletier is 6-foot-6 with good hands and athleticism.

He started the year with a broken hand, but he’s got two games now,” Soehren said of the junior wide receiver. “I think when he was a sophomore last year, he was tall but not as thick and strong, and now he has (had) a lifting year.

“This year he has a different mentality and he is a fearless player. He is incredibly athletic, the kids believe in him and I think he could go to Division I in three sports. He is fast and physical and incredibly difficult to account for.”

Oxford Hills increased their lead on their second drive of the second half when Carson scored on a 2-yard run, again off an ace, to put the lead 27-3. with 23 seconds left in the third quarter.

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On the drive, Truman completed all five of his pass attempts for 53 yards.

With a huge lead, the Vikings ran the ball on every play of their next possession. RRunning back Hunter Tardiff finished the drive with four consecutive carries, and in the fourth he slid through the defense down the left side and rushed for a 14-yard touchdown, increasing Oxford Hills’ lead to 34-3 with 7:24. for playing. the game.

Tardiff (seven carries, 65 yards) and running back Trey Morrison (11 carries, 49 yards) combined for 114 yards, and Carson had both touchdowns on three carries.

Fallon said Sanford played well, but Truman and Pelletier were too much for the Spartans’ defense.

We had them off the clock at times and looking at the back of the defense, we were in good positions,” Sanford coach Mike Fallon said. “His backup quarterback can do it. He was throwing seeds around. He was throwing perfect soccer balls at big, strong targets. Not that we wasted a lot of coverage and weren’t in the places we needed to be, but they were really good pitches with exceptional athletes.”

Pelletier caught a pass in the second half, giving him five in the game for 108 yards. Carson added four receptions for 86 yards and Tanner Bickford caught five passes for 58 yards.

Sanford running back Jordan Bissonette finished with 79 rushing yards, but The Oxford Hills defense was strong all night.

Our defensive line is pretty tough,” Soehren said. “We knew our defensive ends were strong and played a lot last year, and the interior line stepped up. Sanford is big and tough and runs the ball well, and we didn’t want them to go north and south, and we did a good job of stopping them.”

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