Edward Little's Tyler Grenier goes in to tackle Brewer's Aiden Davis during a Sept. 16, 2022, game at Doyle Field in Brewer. Credit: Kim Higgins / BDN

BREWER, Maine — Both teams had victory within their grasp.

But it was the Class A Red Eddies from Auburn’s Edward Little High School who hung on to edge the Class B Brewer High School Witches 22-20 at Doyle Field on Friday night thanks to a Connor Irish interception at the 4-yard line with five seconds remaining.

Edward Little is now 2-1 after having lost its previous 20 games entering the season. It opened the season with a 28-26 win over Messalonskee of Oakland.

Brewer, which was without injured all-conference running back Cameron Hughes, fell to 1-2.

Brewer senior quarterback Ryder Goodwin opened the scoring with a 38-yard run in the first quarter but speedy EL senior Tyler Grenier returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to cut the lead to 7-6 as he cut to the right and raced down the right sideline.

“That was a huge momentum swing,” said Brewer coach Scott Flagg.

Edward Little quarterback Tate Morse’s 12-yard TD pass in the left corner of the end zone to Austin Sellinger and his two-point conversion pass to Grenier made it 14-7 with 16 seconds left in the quarter.

But Goodwin threaded the needle with a 12-yard TD pass across the middle to Evan Nadeau on a fourth-and-eight play and Mason Philbrick kicked the extra point to tie it with 1:52 left in the half.

Grenier broke the 14-14 tie with 45 seconds left in the third period with a 6-yard run on a sweep around the right end.

“I was supposed to follow my right guard but I just went to the outside and used my speed to get to the pylon,” said Grenier, who finished with 42 yards on five carries and an 85-yard touchdown run on a kickoff return.

Morse scored what turned out to be the decisive points when he converted the two-point conversion by running right up the middle.

Brewer answered the Grenier TD with 5:46 left in the game when Goodwin dove in from the 1-yard line, capping a 10-play, 73-yard drive. Goodwin completed a 22-yard pass to Brock Flagg and an ensuing EL personal foul penalty moved the ball to the Brewer 38-yard line.

Goodwin picked up first downs on runs of 11 and 8 yards to set up the TD.

But his two-point conversion pass intended for Nadeau fell incomplete.

“We faced a lot of adversity but we never quit,” said Morse.

Brewer’s Ryder Goodwin races to the end zone for the first touchdown of the night against Edward Little at Doyle Field in Brewer on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Credit: Kim Higgins / BDN

Pivotal play: Trailing 22-20 with 2:42 remaining in the penalty-filled affair, the Witches stuffed Morse for a 1-yard gain on a fourth-and-two quarterback sneak at the Brewer 49-yard line.

On the final drive, facing a fourth-and-15, Brewer’s Goodwin scrambled out of danger before lofting a 31-yard pass to Jake Perry for the first down.

A 7-yard pass to Nadeau and EL’s fourth personal foul penalty of the half moved the ball to EL’s 9-yard line.

But a holding penalty on Brewer on the next play put the ball back on EL’s 19-yard line and on third and goal from the 19, Irish intercepted Goodwin’s pass to the right sideline.

Big takeaway: The two senior quarterbacks were gamers who came up with key plays at critical times. But both teams have to reduce their penalties if they are going to string together some wins, especially Edward Little.

“We just ran out of time,” said coach Flagg. “We had a lot of injuries during the game but I was really proud of the kids. They stepped up. Some didn’t have any varsity experience but they played their hearts out.”

Jaxon Gross, who had rushed for 44 yards on five carries in the third quarter, left with an upper body injury and tackle Caleb Colby had suffered a leg injury earlier in the game.

Morse completed three of eight passes for 49 yards and had a 34-yard run. Hunter Baker had 12 carries for 40 yards.

Goodwin completed 10 of 15 passes for 155 yards. Nadeau caught six passes for 47 yards.

Up next: Both teams play Friday night at 7 p.m. as Brewer hosts Lawrence of Fairfield and Edward Little hosts Bonny Eagle of Buxton.