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Potsdam blanks Massena in Section 10 Class A Championship Game

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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 it’s 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, O’den 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 Kirka’s team.

“After the first quarter, we made some adjustments and kept the mistakes down. Shawn had a real good game. He’s stuck with it this year. And O’den ran the ball well again,” said Kirka whose team had defeated the Raiders 55-18 during the regular season. “This is great. They’re a great group of kids. It’s been a fun season with the two titles we’ve won. Whether it’s 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 Wright’s 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.



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