Complete Team Effort Carries OFA Past Potsdam
BY DAVE SHEA
Before Friday night's NAC Football finale against Potsdam, the OFA coaches honored their 11 seniors.
After an impressive 48-16 victory over the Sandstoners in a match of 5-1 teams, the OFA coaches honored their seniors( Michael Reed, Jackson Jones, Stephen Morley, MeSean Johnson, Harry Powers, Kassidy Johnson, Gage Austin, Owen Warchol, Mark Barr, Carson Barney and Luc LaFlair) again.
Recognized for prototype leadership in a victory where the Devils used the athleticism in their offensive package to score 48 points against a Potsdam defense which had allowed only 53 points in their first six games and used a forceful defensive effort to shut down a vaulted Stoner rushing game.
"This was an outstanding victory and our seniors showed how to lead a team. There was a lot of good things going on out there," said OFA Head Coach Matt Tessmer after the Devils gained sole control of second place behind Gouverneur which looks to complete a fourth straight perfect NAC season playing at Canton Saturday afternoon.
"We had a good week of practice and we had a very good practice on Wednesday. We came out and rang bell tonight and I love it when the team finishes the regular season like this. Now it is on to the playoffs where we will play Brasher Falls on Friday looking to move on to the trip Gouverneur where the winner gets the golden ticket."
St. Lawrence Central at Brasher Falls completed its regular season with a 28-19 win over Massena on Friday.
The Devils' ticket to ride in Friday's game started on the first play of the game where halfback MeSean Johnson took the first snap of the game at quarterback and broke free outside. The Stoners were never able to consistently set the edge all evening and the Devils took complete control with a 24-point burst in the second quarter
A burst triggered by the conversion of a fourth down and eight situation on a pass from Jackson Jones to Stephen Morley who produced the only points of the first quarter on a 14-yard run.
Harry Powers provided the fulcrum of the breakway by catching a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jones, intercepting a Zach Kirby pass and then racing 16 yards to the left corner of on a speed sweep. Jones, who completed 7 of 11 passes for 103 yards on and two touchdowns, followed the two touchdowns with conversion passes to MeSean Johnson and Michael Reed.
"We played very well as a team tonight," said Powers.
Potsdam produced its only points until 29 seconds remained in the game when Logan McCargar took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to the endzone and quarterback Zach Kirka found Will Roda in the right corner of the endzone for the conversion.
OFA answered with a four yard touchdown run by Johnson who added a run for the conversion.
"This was definitely our best game of the season. We have really come a long way since our loss to Gouverneur. Our offensive line is really blocking well," said Johnson who rushed for 118 yards on 14 carries, spun out of a tackle in the backfield and bolted 65 yards to the endzone in the third quarter and made a leaping one-handed interception on defense.
The offensive line surge also paved running lanes for Stephen Morley (9-72) and Tristan Lovely (13-65). Morley also caught five passes for 81 yards with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jones in the fourth quarter.
"Before the game I talked to offensive line about playing for their parents, grand parents who were in the stands, their teammates and their school. They played with a lot of pride. Carson Barney had an outstanding game in the offensive line," said Assistant Coach Tony Williams.
In the fourth quarter the offensive line created a seam for sophomore Drew Costello who took a toss sweep 80 yards to the endzone untouched.
Mark Barr also threw key blocks all evening and was involved in nine tackles in the defensive effort which Defensive Coordinator Charlie McCormick called "one great physical effort by the team in blue."
Potsdam scored its only touchdown from scrimmage on a touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter where reserve tailback carried the ball nine times for 64 yards capped by a one-yard scoring run and the two-point conversion. Will Varney led the offense rushing for 67 yards with a 45 yard run in first quarter after the Stoners were pinned down on their own three by a Jackson Jones punt.
The OFA JVs capped their regular season with a 42-12 win over Potsdam and will host Watertown High in a crossover game on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
OFA 48 - POTSDAM 16
OFA 6 24 6 12 48
Potsdam 0 8 0 8 16
First Quarter: Morley (O) on 9 yard run (pass failed).
Second Quarter: Powers (O) on 12 pass from Jones (Johnson on pass from Jones), Powers (O) on 16 run (Reed on pass from Jones), L. McCargar (P) om 90 kickoff return (Roda on pass from Kirka). Johnson (O) on 4 run (Johnson run).
Third Quarter: Johnson (O) on 65 yard run (pass failed).
Fourth Quarter: Morley (O) on 12 pass from Jones (kick blocked). Costello (O) on 80 run (kick failed). Phippen (P) on 1 run (Phippen run).
Rushing: O - Morley 7-72, Johnson 14-118, Lovely 13-65, Powers 3-17. P - Varney 13-88, Agen 1-1, Kirka 4-19, McGargar 4-18, Phippen 9-64.
Passing: Jones (O) 7x11-0-103 2 TDs, Kirka (P) 1x8-2-8.
Receiving: O- Morley 5-61, Powers 1-12 1 TD, Bullock 1-10. P - Voss 1-8.
Records: Potsdam 5-2, OFA 6-1.