GORHAM – Oxford Hills lost possession of the ball four times, on three fumbles and an onside kick. Good thing the Vikings can play defense while squeezing just enough out of their offense.

Oxford Hills, a strong Class A team, survived an upset by Class B Gorham with a 9-6 victory.

The Vikings (4-2) got a game-winning field goal on the last play of the first half, when Elias Soehren converted a 20-yard kick. Then Oxford Hills held on.

“Gorham played a great game,” Oxford Hills Coach Mark Soehren said.

The Rams (2-4) didn’t look like a team on a four-game losing streak. They took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter and had their chances in the second half.

“I couldn’t ask anything more from this group of kids. They gave everything they had,” said Gorham Coach Andy Hager, whose team lost by three points last week on a last-second field goal. “Two games, a total of six points …”

The key of the game was an improbable final drive in the first half. With the score 6-6, the Vikings stopped a Gorham drive at the Oxford Hills 28 with 44 seconds left.

Run out the clock and head to the locker room?

“In the past we might have done that because we wouldn’t want to throw a pick-6,” Coach Soehren said. “But we’re a pretty good team and we were going to give it a shot. I was OK with throwing it because Atticus is pretty accurate.”

Quarterback Atticus Soehren – brother of Elias and son of the coach – drove the Vikings 70 yards on 5 of 6 completions to the Rams’ 2. With two seconds left, Elias Soehren – who missed an extra point earlier – came on and kicked it through the uprights.

“Just like a regular PAT,” Elias said.

His dad exhaled. “We had a lot of bad moments in this game,” he said, “but there were some great ones, and that drive was one of them.”

Atticus Soehren completed 14 of 21 passes for 251 yards. Addison Brown had seven receptions for 106 yards.

Oxford Hills was to receive the second-half kickoff but the Rams pulled off a successful onside kick. Gorham reached the Oxford Hills 15 but J.J. Worster, on third down, recorded his second sack. On fourth-and-16, the Rams’ pass was incomplete.

Oxford Hills fumbled on the next play, giving Gorham the ball on the Vikings’ 22. But the Rams went nowhere.

“We just couldn’t capitalize,” Hager said.

Gorham scored first. The Rams drove 44 yards in seven plays, capped by a fourth-down, 10-yard pass from Isaac Rollins to Beck Carrier. On the extra-point pick, the snap was high and the Rams tried to run it, unsuccessfully, and led 6-0 with 1:46 left in the first quarter.

Oxford Hills looked ready to tie it when Worster, the tight end, got past the Rams’ secondary and hauled in a pass. In a footrace, defensive back Tyler Rollins caught Worster from behind, tackling him at the 3 for a 54-yard gain. But the Vikings fumbled on the next play.

When the Vikings got the ball back, Atticus Soehren completed three passes for 45 yards, fueling a 79-yard drive completed by Colby VanDecker’s 4-yard TD run, and a 6-6 tie with 2:35 left in the half.


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