Lewiston and Edward Little performed their annual “Battle of the Bridge” on Wednesday night time, and this iteration of the Twin Cities rivalry recreation was like no different.
Solely 9 days prior, 16 members of the Lewiston group have been killed in a mass capturing, leaving Lewiston and Auburn heartbroken and rattled. However their yearly common season finale gave the Twin Cities the chance to come back collectively and rejoice their college spirit.
“This has at all times been the one recreation that actually mattered, and there are twice as many individuals right here as common,” Lewiston alumnus Jacob DuBois stated. DuBois performed defensive sort out for the Blue Devils till his commencement final 12 months. “It’s not simply metropolis in opposition to metropolis this time.”
Previous to kickoff, the Blue Devils and Crimson Eddies might be seen locking arms in the midst of Don Roux Discipline, and have been joined by dozens of first responders and their households. Lewiston Superintendent Jake Langlais and Police Chief Dave St. Pierre additionally issued heartfelt speeches from the middle of the sphere, reciting the names of the 18 victims and thanking the handfuls of first responders in attendance for his or her service.
However as an alternative of tears and a muffled applause, the group responded with impassioned cheers and screams. A dwell efficiency of the Nationwide Anthem by the legendary James Taylor — coupled with a helicopter flyover — solely energized the huge crowd extra.
“It’s nostalgic,” Lewiston alumnus and present Kindergarten trainer Tara Bryant stated. “Nevertheless it additionally feels completely totally different.”
On the turf, the gamers’ feelings mirrored the group’s.
“I’ve felt regret this previous week, but additionally the excessive depth the crew brings me,” four-year varsity defensive sort out Jayden Brown stated. “I’m glad that I’m right here. It’s my final common season recreation.”
Sitting at 3-5 within the Class A North standings — and on the playoff bubble — Lewiston would solely advance to the postseason with a victory over its winless rival. Come gametime, nevertheless, the Crimson Eddies from Auburn have been equally ready to depart all of it on the market.
“It’s the most important recreation of the 12 months; all we actually wish to do is beat Lewiston,” junior Crimson Eddy operating again Hunter Baker stated. “We have now to place our feelings apart and are available out right here and present that we’re good.”
Sadly for the favorites Lewiston, Baker and co. definitely did simply that.
Forcing a three-and-out on the Blue Devils’ first drive, Edward Little abruptly smothered the Lewiston punt and grabbed ahold of the ball, as senior linebacker Drew Smith took all of it the best way to the home to open the scoring.
Two drives later, the Crimson Eddies have been at it once more, spoiling an extended Lewiston drive with a fumble restoration at their very own 12-yard line. One lengthy bomb to junior vast out Bennett DuBois later, DuBois rapidly made it 12-0 Edward Little off a goal-line slant go from senior Kade Masselli.
However the Blue Devils weren’t about to lose in entrance of their fanbase that desperately wanted this win — or say goodbye to their fleeting playoff goals.
Rallying behind some bodily play from each side, culminating in eight complete private fouls and one Crimson Eddy ejection, Lewiston bore down and strung collectively extra than simply your common comeback. Led by 235-pound senior operating again Joe Dube and 6’4” junior tight finish Ryker Paradis, the Blue Devils scored 34 unanswered factors to take house the Alan Clark, Sr. Memorial Trophy when it mattered most.
“Everyone knows what the stakes are. There’s extra on this recreation than quite a lot of us have in life proper now,” Dube stated. Dube completed with three speeding touchdowns within the 34-18 win. “It’s good to come back out, put a great crew win collectively and convey that trophy house.”
After the sport, each groups gathered at midfield, breaking down one huddle in unison.
“Everybody within the metropolis wants to listen to this!” Alan Clark shouted from the middle of the huddle.
“One, two, three, sturdy!”