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Potsdam, Massena football teams square off in Section 10 Class A final

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POTSDAM - Potsdam Central is coming off its first loss of the season while Massena Central will be looking to ride the momentum of a late-season three game win streak as the Route 56 rivals get set to square off in the Section 10 Class A Football Championship Game this Friday night in Potsdam.

The host Sandstoners pulled away to a 55-18 win over the Raiders when the two teams met in the fourth week of the NAC regular season. Potsdam went on to post an undefeated regular season and improved to 8-0 before falling to Franklin Academy Academy 25-14 in last Friday night’s NAC Tier I playoff championship. The Raiders are coming off a hard-fought 18-9 win at home over Tupper Lake in the Tier II playoff championship game which raised their overall record to 5-4.

The winner of this Friday night’s game, which is slated to kick-off at 7 p.m., advances to the New York State Class A tournament where they will face the Section 2 champion. Burnt Hills and Amsterdam meet in the Section 2 final at Shenendahowa High School on Saturday night.

Guided by Jim Kirka, the Sandstoners will be looking to bounce back from their only loss after allowing the most points and scoring the fewest in a game this season. In the regular season game against Massena, senior David Adams stepped up to spark the Sandstoners offensively in his only start at quarterback while junior Will Coleman has taken the majority of the snaps in capably directing the offense this fall.

Potsdam has produced the majority of its offense on the ground led by the duo of junior O’den Robertson (109x803yds, 17TD’s) and senior Adam Lewis (71x596yds, 9TD’s). Junior Rian McFadden has also made strong contributions out of the backfield along with Coleman, who has also evolved into an effective passer, having completed 26 of 58 passes for 507 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. Junior Shawn Clark is the team’s leading receiver after pulling down eight passes for 104 yards in last week’s loss. Garrett Kilgore and Jacob Bryant are also threats to catch the ball while the Sandstoners will be looking for someone to step up and help fill the void left by the loss of senior tight end Jacobs Woods to an injury in the second half of the lopsided Tier I semi-final win over OFA. The senior trio of linemen Aaron Chandler, Aaron Deon and Kyle Martens has provided outstanding leadership on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

The Raiders, coached by Anthony Diagostino, have also shown balance and depth on offense this season as they’ve transitioned to more of a wildcat approach. Senior Justin Bestor and junior Rory Corcoran have shared quarterbacking duties through the latter stages of the season. Bestor, who started the season at tight end but has made a positive impact at quarterback over the last three games where he’s produced the majority of his 310 yards and five touchdowns on just 19 carries. Corcoran is the team’s leading passer with 28 completions out of 67 attempts for 429 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior Jeremiah Reagan, who is coming off a 179-yard performance against the Lumberjacks, has emerged as Massena’s top rusher this fall with 847 yards and 18 touchdowns on 104 carries. The trio of senior Jordy Mitchell (65x413yds, 5TD’s), senior Isaiah Perry (40x305yds, 5TD’s) and junior Connor Paquin (55x297yds, 1TD) has also make key contributions to the Raider running game. Reagan leads the Massena receiving corps as well with 197 yards and one touchdown on 14 catches followed by Xavier Viskovich (9x105yds), Mitchell (7x102yds) and Tyler Simms (4x99yds, TD). Seniors Jordan Hart and Kioweren Rourke anchor the Massena offensive and defensive lines.

STATE TOURNAMENT OPENERS: The other three Section 10 representatives for the state tournament will also be in action this weekend as they go up against their Section 7 counterparts. FA, which won the Class A title last year, is competing in Class B this fall and will be going up against Peru on Saturday at Massena’s Mike Nicholas Field starting at 7 p.m. The Class C game between OFA and Saranac Lake is slated for Saturday at 1 p.m. at AuSable Valley Central and the Class D contest between Tupper Lake and Moriah is set for Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Nicholas Field.

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