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Potsdam, Massena, SLC football teams open Section 10 playoffs Friday night

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The Potsdam Central and Massena Central varsity football teams hope what was good for the last week of the regular season will be good for the Section 10 tournament as they get set to host first round rematches while St. Lawrence Central will be seeking redemption on the road.

All three squads will be in action Friday night as Potsdam, for the second week in a row, welcomes OFA in the semi-finals of the Tier I Playoffs while Massena prepares to open the Tier II playoffs at home against Canton Central for the second straight game. St. Lawrence Central, meanwhile, will be headed to Tupper Lake in the other Tier II semi-final.

The other Tier I playoff opener will see Franklin Academy play host to Gouverneur on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The highest remaining seeds after this weekends games will then host their respective tournament finals the following week.

POTSDAM HOSTS 0FA

Coached by Jim Kirka, the Sandstoners successfully closed out an undefeated NAC regular season championship run by rallying to beat the Blue Devils 30-28 last Friday night in a game that saw the teams combine to produce nearly 300 yards and six touchdowns through the air with four different players recording touchdown catches.

The Sandstoners generated the vast majority of the offense via their ground game led by junior O’den Robertson (77x646yds, 14TD’s) and senior Adam Lewis (62x528yds, 10TD’s). Junior quarterback Will Coleman is also a rushing threat and has shown he can effectively pass the ball as well, having completed five of 14 passes over the past two games with all of them going for touchdowns. Garrett Kilgore, Shawn Clark and Jacobs are the team’s two leading receivers while junior fullback Rian McFadden has emerged as another productive ball-carrier.

The Blue Devils, who averaged nearly 30 points per game in posting a 4-3 regular season record, have developed a multi-faceted offensive package of their own anchored by an offensive line which executes equally well in the spread and wishbone formations. The OFA offense features three proven running threats in quarterback Nate Angel, halfback Jordan McCormick and fullback Zach Sharpe and two physical wide receivers in Josh Liebstein and Alex Farrell. Angel connected on 15 of 25 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to Potsdam. Liebstein had five catches for 100 yards while Farrell pulled down three passes for 52 yards and a touchdown while Jon Taylor caught three passes for 40 yards, including a pair of touchdown receptions. McCormick ran for a team-high 64 yards against the Sandstoners.

Win or lose on Friday, both teams will have at least one more game this post-season. Potsdam will play host to Massena on Friday, November 2, in the Section 10 Class A Championship with the winner advancing to the state tournament. OFA, meanwhile, has already clinched the section’s bid to the state Class C tournament by virtue of generating a better regular season record than St. Lawrence Central and Canton and will face Section 7 champion Saranac Lake in the opening round the first weekend in November.

Kick-off for this Friday night’s game at the Potsdam turf field is slated for 7 p.m.

MASSENA HOSTS CANTON

Guided by Anthony Diagostino, the Raiders (3-4) finished the regular season on a positive note after snapping a three-game losing skid with a 48-14 win at home over Canton. Junior Jeremiah Reagan leads a balanced Raider running game with 629 yards and 14 touchdowns on 78 carries followed by senior Jordy Mitchell with 413 yards and five touchdowns on 65 tries. Junior Connor Paquin (53x284yds, 1TD) and senior Isaiah Perry (36x282, 4TD’s) have also made lead contributions while senior Justin Bestor had a major impact in the win over the Golden Bears, going for 116 yards and two touchdowns on three carries. Junior quarterback Rory Corcoran has completed 28 of 65 passes for 429 yards and two touchdowns. Reagan is also the team’s leading receiver with 98 yards on nine catches followed by Tyler Simms (4x99, 1TD), Mitchell (5x76yds) and junior Xavier Viskovich (6-74yds).

The Golden Bears struggled through a winless regular season as they look to gain some post-season redemption of their own this Friday. Sophomore runningback Hunter Yerdon had an outstanding night against the Raiders last week, going for 131 yards and a touchdown in 18 carries while relaying his only catch of the night into a 63-yard touchdown reception from senior Jack Elberty, who was making only his second start at quarterback this season.

Kick-off at Mike Nicholas Field is slated for 7:30 p.m.

SLC HOSTS TUPPER LAKE

Coached by Bill Scharf, the Larries closed out their regular season at 1-6 after dropping a 28-14 decision at home to Tupper Lake last Saturday in a game where the Lumberjacks scored the last 14 points in the fourth quarter.

The Larries are led offensively by the senior duo of runningback Jesse Greer (92x547yds, 5TD’s) and quarterback Devon Euto, who has run the ball 22 times for 289 yards and three touchdowns while having completed 37 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns. Classmate Todd Ramsell is the team’s leading receiver with 221 yards and one touchdown on 14 catches. Juniors Corey LaBarge and David Plante have also contributed to both the SLC running and passing games.

In downing the Larries last week, the Lumberjacks finished at 2-5 in the NAC standings and avoided a return trip to Brasher Falls for the post-season opener. The duo of Jeremy Rousssel (20x129yds, 1TD) and quarterback Mitch Keniston, who rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and completed three of 12 passes for 52 yards and another touchdown, accounted for most of the offense against the Larries. Elliott Kerst scored a rushing touchdown and Brock Tarbox was on the receiving end of Keniston’s touchdown pass.

As the lone Class D team in Section 10 football, the Lumberjacks have an automatic bid to the state tournament and will square off in the first round against the Section 7 champion the first weekend in November.

Friday night’s game at Rotary Field in Tupper Lake is slated to kick-off at 7 p.m.

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