PARIS — When it rains, it pours for opposing defenses trying to slow down the Oxford Hills offense.

Bonny Eagle was the latest team tasked with stopping the deluge created by the Vikings’ attack, but top-ranked Oxford Hills washed away the fifth-seeded Scots in a 36-0 Class A semifinal victory in the rain Friday night.

Eli Soehren was 15 of 20 passing for 176 yards and factored into all five touchdowns – throwing three TD passes and running for two scores.

“I think the biggest thing is that they’re just really good with a lot of weapons, and they have a guy running the show that is calm, cool and collected back there and just makes things happen,” Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper said.

On the defensive side, the Vikings (10-0) secured their first shutout of the season, while the Scots (6-5) were shut out for the first time since 2009.

“They were phenomenal. I think (Bonny Eagle) had 18 yards at (halftime). They threw for 333 yards against us last time we played them, and so we knew that they were dangerous that way,” said Oxford Hills Coach Mark Soehren, referring to the Vikings’ 41-17 win on Oct. 7. “And they’ve got good athletes and they’re well-coached, and their quarterback has a strong arm and he’s very good. So we were very concerned about what they could possibly do, coming off that 330-yard offensive performance by just the quarterback.


“When we did that in the first half … that was a huge statement for us. This is a great defense that we have, and we haven’t had a shutout yet, so it was nice to finally get a shutout.”

Oxford Hills advances to the state championship game next Saturday against No. 2 Thornton Academy. It’s a rematch of last year’s title game, which Thornton won.

The Vikings had the ball first Friday and methodically marched 69 yards in 14 plays, including a fourth-down run by Eli Soehren. The senior finished the drive six plays later on a scramble, diving to the pylon for a 12-yard touchdown. He then kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

“We didn’t know when this rain was going to come in, so we took the ball and wanted to establish ourselves a bit, and see what they were doing,” Mark Soehren said. “… So, yeah, it was a great way to start the game. You know, we had some great conversions, the kids, they were clutch in a couple of those situations.”

Bonny Eagle’s first possession ended with a three-and-out, and a short punt gave the Vikings possession at the Scots’ 44.

Soehren completed three passes on the next drive, including a 13-yard TD toss to a wide-open Jake Carson in the flat. Soehren’s kick made it 14-0 with less than a minute left in the first quarter.


Bonny Eagle, on the back of four straight completions by senior QB Cam Marcello, pushed the ball into Oxford Hills territory. However, the Vikings’ defense forced Marcello into a loss of yards on a third-down scramble to squash the drive.

Senior defensive back Tanner Bickford said the Oxford Hills defense was able to make some effective adjustments against Bonny Eagle’s passing attack.

“I don’t know, just kind of focused on their key players and shut them down. And after that, it just kind of went smoother,” Bickford said.

Oxford Hills was forced to punt on its next posssession, but Soehren blasted a booming punt that rolled to the 2, where a Bonny Eagle returner grabbed the ball. On the next play, an offensive holding call against the Scots gave the Vikings a safety for a 16-0 lead.

“You know, we almost had an interception on our sideline on the third-down play. And, unfortunately, Eli uncorks probably about a 70-yard punt or so,” Cooper said. “And we’re trying to throw out of the end zone, because we think that’s the best deal for us, and we get a holding penalty and the safety. That was really hard, mentally, to come back from.”

Soehren capped the ensuing drive with a 25-yard TD pass to Bickford, who bobbled the pass, grabbed it away from a Bonny Eagle defender, then made two more defenders miss.


“I honestly didn’t even know I had the ball in my hands,” Bickford said. “But once I got it, just knew I needed to score, make it easier for the team, and make it a lot easier to go to the state game.”

The extra point was blocked, but Oxford Hills’ lead was up to 22-0.

Another Bonny Eagle three-and-out gave the Vikings one last possession in the first half. They made the most of it, with Soehren going 5 of 5 for 53 yards, including a 15-yard TD pass to Teigan Pelletier.

“I thought the last part of the second quarter was not great for us,” Cooper said. “I think we got a little nervous, and things aren’t going our way. And really, that last touchdown right before the first half ends was a tough one for us.”

The Vikings needed just four plays to punch in the game’s final touchdown early in the third quarter. It was Soehren who did the honors, running in from the 5.

Marcello was held to 10 of 22 passing for 64 yards, with two interceptions.

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