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OFA advances to Class C title game

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It was a special night for OFA football.

And special teams play sparked the Blue Devils a flying start to a 48-0 victory over Canton in the final varsity game played on the Alton W. Elliott Athletic Complex Field.

The victory also vaulted the Blue Devils into Friday’s Section 10 Class C Championship game at 8-0 Potsdam which broke away to a 46-18 win over St. Lawrence Central.

“We have unfinished business. We need 110 percent all week from everyone,” said OFA Co-Captain Kevin Goolden about the opportunity to avenge their only

loss of the season and move on to the New York State Tournament.

The Devils (7-1) capitalized on short fields created by three-and-outs, two blocked punts and the sacking of the punter after a high center snap to open a 27-0 first quarter lead against the Bears (1-7).

Spencer Mayette deflected the first punt of the game and quarterback Josh Liebstein bolted 20 cards to cap a 47-yard drive. On the Bears’ second possession Mayette and Nick Sweeney blocked a punt and Ryan Denny recovered it on the 10 yardline.

Two plays later Jordan McCormick ran untouched four yards to the corner of the endzone. The lead became 21-0 on John Tayler’s third straight PAT after Liebstein scored on a five-yard keeper set up when Mitchel Barber sacked the punter after a bad snap.

Jon Rogers closed out the first quarter burst with a 25-yard run on a night when he would run for two scores and catch three passes for 83 yards.

The Devils would add single touchdowns and PAT kicks by Tayler in the last three quarters. Liebstein, who rushed for 71 yards and went 8-for-8 in the air for 120 yards, pitched a four-yard TD pass to Tayler in the second quarter.

McCormick bulled from two-yards out for his second TD of the night in the third quarter and Rogers slammed across the goalline from two-yards out in the fourth quarter for his second TD.

“The guys played well and capped their legacy on this field very well tonight,” said OFA Coach Matt Tessmer.

“Our specials had a good night with the two blocked punts and converting six of seven PAT kicks.

Sparked by connections between quarterback Hunter Yerdon (6x18-2-70) and tight end Cole Zeller (3-49) and flanker Louden Porter (3-21), Bears mounted a scoring threat in the final stages of both halves. Both were snuffed by interceptions in the endzone.

Taylor Bouchard made a leaping interception with just seconds remaining in the half and Cody Rolfe stepped in front of an a receiver on the goal line with 1:46 left in the game.

Two Minute Drill: Canton played without its leading rusher and tackler in Peyton VanBibber (arm injury)...Barber, Taylor Richardson and Jake King were in on sacks for OFA and Lenny Walwrath and Zeller combined on a Canton sack..Joe Loffler led OFA with six tackles and Mayette had four tackles on kick coverage in the first half. Andy Knight led Canton with seven stops...Canton’s Zach Martel produced the only fumble recovery of the game...Tackles behind the line were noted by OFA’s Joe Loffler (3), Taylor Bouchard, Quinton Denner and Cody Rolfe and Canton’s Markel...OFA’s backup QB Joe Dalton ran for 27 yards and passed for 39 yards.

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