POTSDAM - Massena outgained top-seed Potsdam in total yards in a scoreless first quarter on Friday night in the Section 10 Class A championship football game.
But Sandstoner defensive back Shawn Clark recovered a Raider fumble on the last play of that opening quarter and Potsdam drove 53 yards for a touchdown and never looked back in securing a 40-0 victory.
Clark finshed the night with an interception and five tackles and was also on the receiving end of a Will Coleman touchdown pass and two-point conversion.
I think the fumble recovery may have sparked us a little. After that, he offensive line really pulled together. We all wanted this pretty bad, said the 6-7 Clark. We worked hard all week for this and its great to win it in front of our home fans.
Potsdam (9-1) has now won regular season and secional titles this year and will take on either Burnt Hills or Amsterdam in the first round of the Class A state tournament this Friday night at Massena High School. The two Section 2 (Albany-area) finalists meet today. Potsdam returns to state play for the second time in three years.
Last night, Oden Robertson rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns, coming off a leg injury suffered last week.
I iced the injury all week and played with a brace tonight and was ready to go, said the St. Lawrence Central transfer. We really stepped it up after the first quarter. This championship means a lot to us.
Potsdam, which was successful on 5-of-5 two-point conversion attempts on the night, scored twice in the second quarter as Robertson carried over from a yard out before Coleman passed to Garrett Kilgore for the conversion. A Steven Lewis sack of Raider quarterback Justin Bestor led to a Roberston three-yard touchdown run just before halftime which was followed by a Robertson conversion.
Roberston scored his third straight touchdown, this time twisting and turning from 28 yards out, for the lone score of the third quarter. That was followed by a Coleman to Clark conversion.
In the fourth quarter, the Sandstoners stopped Massena on downs on their own two-yard line and marched 98 yards in nine plays with Clark hauling in a 17-yard pass in the end zone, followed by an Adam Lewis run for the conversion. Trevor Keleher closed out the scoring on a 20-yard run and conversion with under four minutes to play for coach Jim Kirkas team.
After the first quarter, we made some adjustments and kept the mistakes down. Shawn had a real good game. Hes stuck with it this year. And Oden ran the ball well again, said Kirka whose team had defeated the Raiders 55-18 during the regular season. This is great. Theyre a great group of kids. Its been a fun season with the two titles weve won. Whether its Burnt Hills or Amsterdam next week, we go out and try to be fundamentally sound.
Kyle Martens also had a big game for the Potsdam defense with nine tackles and a sack while teammate Devon Delaney had an interception.
Massena (5-5) was led by Jeremiah Reagan with 44 yards rushing on seven carries. Bestor completed 4-of-6 passes for 44 yards while Josh Manley had three receptions for 29 yards.
Moriah 12, Tupper Lake 7: In a Class D Regional game played at Massena High School, Cameron Wrights second touchdown of the game as time expired in the third quarter from 11 yards out gave Moriah (5-5) the lead for good.
Wright, who rushed 34 times for 153 yards on the night, also scored on a two-yard run at 4:25 of the first quarter.
Lumberjack quarterback Mitch Keniston found Blake Tarbox on a 28 yard catch and run at 10:23 of the second quarter and Ian Gilles extra point kick gave Tupper Lake a 7-6 lead.
Tupper Lake (3-7) had the ball with 1:19 to play, but after a 27 pickup on a Keniston to Gavin Larson pass, the Lumberjacks fumbled with 39 seconds to play.
Moriah faces the winner of Salem versus Rennselaer next week in Section II.