Gouverneur Rides Second Half TDs To Finals
MIDDLETOWN - Section 10 Champion Gouverneur moved the chains throughout Saturday's New York State Class C semi-final game against Section 1 champion Valhalla at Middletown High School.
But the Wildcats could not move the zero off the scoreboard until just 1:57 remained in the third quarter when Cayden Stowell reached the endzone at the end a 12-yard run to complete one of several ground control drives. Drives which eventually produced a 14-11 come-from-behind win which propelled the Wildcats (11-0) past the Vikings (8-3) and into Friday night's 6 p.m. state championship game against 12-0 Susquehanna Valley of Section 4 which used a fourth quarter comeback to outscore Southwestern 35-28.
After Gouverneur's only pass completion of the day, a fourth down connection of two yards from Caleb Farr to Mitchell Tyler, was stopped inches from the goal line, the Vikings used a 42 yard pass from Michael Dawson of Rehsean Melvin to set up a 21-yard field goal by by Elias Gonzalez on the final play of the first half.
Vikings scored on their first possession of the second half when tackle Franesco Falco plowed into the endzone from three yards out and took an 11-0 lead when Sam Mussuto improvised a two-point conversion run after a bad snap on the extra point try.
As they done all day linemen Xavier Hall, Brock Cox, Tyler Tupper, Daniel Hall and Dawson Wagner fronted a drive for the go-ahead touchdown which was scored by Mitchell Tyler on a two-yard straight ahead run with 5:38 remaining.
Dawson connected with Melvin for a 37-yard fourth down pass from their own endzone to ignite a Vikings' threat to retake the lead but the bid was snuffed on a Joe Cummings interception with 1:20 to play.
"We have been saying all week, they will complete passes and get first downs, but yards don't win games, points do. Our guys never quit, they refused to lay down, refused to lose, and found it in them to finish the game. I have never been around a gutsier group of young men in my life. Lots of history today for Gouverneur Football, but we still have work to do," said Gouverneur Coach Sean Devlin after the Wildcats earned their school's first state finals football appearance and became the first GHS football team to win 11 games.
"Our defense again played stellar. We had some key stops, especially with JoJo Cummings interception at the end to stop there drive. Our offense moved the ball methodically at times, especially in the 2nd half, which help field position when we didn't score."
The Wildcats' rushing attack produced 248 yards with quarterback Caleb Farr gaining 92 yards on 21 keepers and Cayden Stowell (19-82) and Mitchell Tyler (15-68) delivering 82 and 68 yards operating inside and outside. Joe Cummings added six yards on two carries.
The Vikings sophomore quarterback Michael Dawson completed 10 of 17 passes for 176 yards. Melvin caught three passes for 89 yards and Danny Tammaro received five passes for 70 yards.
"I could not be more proud of our guys, unassuming, unselfish, hard working North Country kids that we are so happy for....and nobody is more deserving than them. I have said it numerous time...our fans, families, school and community is the best, you deserve this as well, you are a part of it," said Coach Devlin after Gouverneur became the second Section 10 Class C team to reach the state finals in three years repeating the historic run of OFA lost to Newark Valley in the state title game in 2016.
SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY SURGES
Defending state champion Susquehanna Valley (12-0) of Section 4 won its 25th game with two fourth quarter touchdowns to outscore Southwestern 35-28.
Logan Haskell, who plays tailback and quarterback, figured all five SV touchdowns, including the 7-yard go-ahead pass to tight end Patrick Cooper with 4:58 remaining. Cooper also caught a Haskell pass for the two-point conversion. Haskell rushed for 185 rushing yards on 37 carries and 148 passing yards with eight completions in 12 attempts.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Class C semifinal
Gouverneur 14, Valhalla 11
Valhalla 0 3 8 0 — 11
Gouverneur 0 0 8 6 — 14
VAL—FG Gonzalez 21
VAL—Falco 3 run (Mussuto run)
GOU—Stowell 12 run (Stowell run)
GOU—Tyler 2 run (run failed)
Rushing: Val, Dawson 10-31, Nolan 4-8, Davis 3-8, Falco 2-6; Gou, Stowell 19-82, Farr 21-92, Tyler 15-68, Cummings 2-6.
Passing: Val, Dawson 10-17-1-176; Gou, Farr 1-2-1-4.
Receiving: Val, Mussuto 1-9, Melvin 3-89, Tammaro 5-70, Nolan 1-1; Gou, Tyler 1-4.
Records: Valhalla (8-3); Gouverneur (11-0).