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Potsdam, Massena football teams host NAC tourney finals

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Before squaring off for the Section 10 Class A championship, the Potsdam Central and Massena Central varsity football teams will look to complete their NAC seasons on a positive note this Friday night as they get set to host their respective playoff finals.

POTSDAM HOSTS FA

At the Potsdam turf field, the undefeated regular season champion Sandstoners will be taking on a 7-1 Franklin Academy squad that will be looking to avenge its only loss of the season in a matchup of the top two seeds for the Tier I Tournament.

Potsdam, which held on for a 35-27 decision over the Huskies in the third week of the regular season, earned a chance to host the title game after rolling to a 52-8 win over OFA while FA turned back Gouverneur 35-21. The Sandstoners, guided by Jim Kirka, have churned out the majority of their offense with a balanced running game that is led by the duo of junior O’den Robertson (88-734, 16TD) and senior Adam Lewis (72-588, 11TD). Junior Will Coleman has capably handled the bulk of the snaps at quarterback, both as another rushing option and an effective passer, while senior David Adams has shown similar versatility in a back-up role. The past two games have also seen junior fullback Rian McFadden make an increased impact on the Potsdam running game while senior Garrett Kilgore and junior Shawn Clark are the team’s leading receivers.

Senior Mitch Gallagher put together another MVP season in leading the Huskies once again this season. Through eight games this season, the standout quarterback leads the NAC in rushing and passing, having run for for 1,060 yards and 15 touchdowns while having completed 64 of 100 passes for 1,166 yards and 14 touchdowns with two interceptions. Senior Harvey Smith has been his leading target having caught 22 passes for 365 yards and six touchdowns.

Regardless of the outcome on Friday, both teams will have at least one more game to play this fall. Potsdam will host Massena on Friday, November 2, in the sectional Class A final with the winner of that game advancing to the New York State tournament. The Huskies claimed the section’s bid to the sate Class B tournament two weeks ago with a win over Gouverneur in the regular season finale.

Friday night’s game is slated to kick-off at 7 p.m.

MASSENA HOSTS TUPPER LAKE

By posting a second straight win over Canton last weekend, the Raiders evened their record to 4-4 and gained the chance to host the Tier II title game against Tupper Lake in a rematch of a season-opening encounter that saw the Raiders come away with a 40-20 road win.

Both teams have undergone multiple personnel changes on offense with Massena now featuring more of a spread offense that has been effectively quarterbacked by senior Justin Bestor while junior J.P. Reagan has emerged as both the leading rusher and receiver. In two straight starts at QB, Bestor has rushed for 300 yards and five touchdowns on 13 carries. Reagan leads a balanced Massena running game with 672 yards and 16 touchdowns on 86 carries while having pulled down 11 passes for 160 yards. The trio of senior Jordy Mitchell (65x413, 5TD), senior Isaiah Perry (39x304, 5TD) and junior Connor Paquin (55x297, 1TD) bolsters the Raider ground game. Mitchell is also a leading threat to catch the ball with 102 yards on seven grabs. Junior Rory Corcoran, who was the starting quarterback in the win at Tupper Lake, has completed 28 of 65 passes for 429 yards and two touchdowns and will likely take a number of snaps throughout Friday night’s game.

As the lone Class D team in Section 10 football, Tupper Lake has claimed 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.

The Lumberjacks advanced to the Tier II final via a second straight win over St. Lawrence Central which improved their record to 3-5. Junior Mitch Keniston, who began the season as one of Tupper Lake’s top receiving threat, has taken over as the starting quarterback and enters Friday night’s game as one of the leading passers in the NAC, having connected on 32 of 77 passes for 449 yards and five touchdowns while picked off five times. He is also one of Tupper Lake’s top rushers along with Jeremy Roussel, who is a two-way threat to catch the ball as well.

Friday night’s game at Mike Nicholas Field kicks off at 7 p.m.

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