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    Monday, August 15, 2022

    Vikings make quick work of Colonels 42-12

    East Lyme's Shawn Soja (11) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass from Chris Salemme during the Vikings' 42-12 win over Ledyard on Friday night. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

    East Lyme — The record was not pretty: one win, four losses. Ah, but then the circumstances: East Lyme High School's four losses have come to schools with a combined 13-7 record to date, two of whom play in Class LL, the state's largest division.

    And so maybe the Vikings, while disappointed with the results, know they're a little better than the record. And with Norwalk, Pomperaug, NFA and Weston as mere prologue now for the rest of the season, they had a chance to exhale a bit Friday night.

    Blane Hart, who celebrated his 17th birthday with his twin brother Cameron, scored four touchdowns as the Vikings played as they are capable, throttling Ledyard 42-12 at Dick North Field.

    Suddenly, the pain of 1-4 becomes the duller ache of 2-4 with four games — and the chance of a winning season — ahead.

    "I'm not mad about our schedule, although it's been tough," Blane Hart said. "I think it's made us better players. We're going to get this going."

    Quarterback Chris Salemme finished 8-for-8 for 168 yards and a touchdown pass to Shawn Soja, helping the Vikings sprint to a 14-0 lead.

    "We scored on our first two drives," Hart said, "and thought to ourselves, 'we don't have to punt.'"

    Eventually they did, but not until assuming a comfortable lead.

    "People like to look at records, but not necessarily who teams have played," East Lyme coach Rudy Bagos said. "We've played a lot of good teams so far. We could easily be 4-2."

    The Vikings have their Homecoming game next week against New London, which was idle Friday night.

    "We're playing for pride," Bagos said. "And we still have a shot at the ECC (Division I) championship. I honestly believe we're one of the better teams in the ECC."

    Backup quarterback Noah Perry threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Hart in the third period. Hart's other three scores came on the ground. Andrew Haase also scored for East Lyme.

    Caden Foote caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Sylvia for Ledyard (2-4), while Ben Askew also scored, set up by Braden Grim's 45-yard run.

    "I've been telling the kids, 'this is the schedule we have, so let's play it,'" Bagos said. "It's been a lot of good competition. I wish we would see more of the rivalries in the ECC, but if this is our schedule, then this what we'll play."


    East Lyme's Blane Hart (10) is tripped up by Ledyard's Brenden Thornton (14) during Friday night's game at East Lyme. Hart scored four touchdowns as the Vikings rolled to a 42-12 win. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

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