Wildcats Earn Historic Trip To Football Final 4
Updated: Nov 18, 2019
BY DAVE SHEA
Gouverneur Central Football teams have made a lot of regular season history forging four straight undefeated Northern Conference Championships.
On Friday at Mohonnason High School the 2019 Wildcats (10-0) earned an historic 10-2 win over Section 2 Champion Stillwater (10-1) and earned their school's first New York State Final Four berth ever. Gouverneur entered Friday's game ranked fifth in the NYS Class C Poll and Stillwater held the fourth position.
The Wildcats will travel to Middletown next Saturday and play Section 1 Champion Valhalla (8-2) at high noon for a spot in the state championship game at the Syracuse Carrier Dome. Valhalla defeated Dobbs Ferry 21-7 in the Section 1 Championship game and bested Section 11's Chester -Tuxedo 19-8 in quarter-final action on Friday night.
Section 3 champion and third ranked Lowville (10-0) will look to advance to the state semi-finals on Saturday facing 10-0 and top-ranked Section 4 Champion Susquehanna Valley.
In Class B regional football action on Friday Section 2 champion Schuylerville (10-1) ended 7-3 Potsdam's outstanding season in a 28-8 decision in frigid conditions at OFA's Coach Ron Johnson Football Field. In Class A action Section 3 Champion Carthage advanced to the Final 4 with a 38-14 win over Union-Endicottt.
GOUVERNEUR 10 - STILLWATER 2
The Wildcats scored on their first possession as quarterback Caleb Farr broke free on a 27-yard touchdown run on his second carry of a game where he would gain 137 yards on 19 carries. Gouverneur lifted their lead to 10-0 with 11:16 remaining in the game when Mitchell Tyler kicked a 15-yard field goal.
Stillwater's only points came on a safety with 4:11 in the game and after a free kick following the safety the Wildcats' defense protected the lead.
Cayden Stowell was involved in 10 tackles and Joe Cummings and Jarred Wilson were in on eight and seven stops to lead the defense and Caleb Farr intercepted a pass to go along with two stops. Other tackle involvement contributions were: Mitchell Shippee (1), Mitchell Tyler (5), Matthew Turner (3), Brock Cox (5), Gabe Wainwright (1), Nicholas Embry (1), Tyler Tupper (5) and Noah Macaulay (1).
Stillwater (10-1) marched down the field from its own 37 and got to the Wildcats' 23-yard line but the Wildcat defense successfully denied three passes into the endzone.
"Our defense was phenomenal. We had a couple guys get hurt early in the game, and we had some young kids step up. Coach Justin Young does a great job week after week preparing our defense, and they are always up to the test. We knew everything they were going to do before they did it, we just had to execute," said Gouverneur Coach Sean Devlin.
"They are a very good team. We were able to score on our opening drive. It took them a while to adjust to our speed, and we knew that scoring early was key to success, and it was. We had solid drives that kept the ball out of their hands and changed the field possession. It was a shutout for our defense. We were pinned inside our own one yard line and ended getting a safety against us. We were very limited with our offensive options at that point."
Gouveneur's offense came entirely on the ground as Farr only passed twice and neither attempt was completed. Cayden Stowell gained 74 yards on 17 carries, Mitchell Tyler picked up 34 yards on six carries and Joe Cummings contributed 24 yards on just three carries.
"We made history in Gouverneur tonight. No football team from Gouverneur has ever made it to the New York State Final 4 before, and I am happy for our guys, they deserve it. Our school and community support is second to nobody, we love them and this win is for them too," said Devlin.
HORSES ADVANCE PAST STONERS
Both Stillwater and Potsdam entered Friday's game with a punishing ground game and the ability to wear out an opponent. The Horses opened a 28-0 lead behind the running back Samuel McGarrathanm who scored on a pair of one yard runs and also found the endzone from four yards out. Quarterback Owen Sherman opened the scoring on a three-yard run and also scored a two-point conversion along with Colton Weatherwax.
Will Varney accounted for Potsdam's lone touchdown with a 38-yard run and quarterback Zach Kirkey added the two-point conversion on a run. Varney personified the unrelenting fighting spirit of the Sandstoners gaining 140 yards on 23 carries.