Regardless of the outcomes, the matchups for the final week of the NAC Football regular season will serve as previews for the opening rounds of the Section 10 tournament next weekend.
This years sectional tournament will see the top four seeds compete for the overall championship while the bottom four seeds meet to decide consolation honors. The standings heading into the final week have Potsdam Central sitting on top at 6-0 followed by Franklin Academy (5-1), Gouverneur (5-1), OFA (4-2), Massena (2-4), St. Lawrence Central (1-5), Tupper Lake (1-5) and Canton (0-6).
Since Potsdam has beaten both FA and Gouverneur, the Sandstoners have clinched the top seed for sectionals as they get set to host OFA in their regular season finale Friday night. Even with a win, OFA, which loss to both FA and Gouverneur, will likely finish as the fourth seed meaning the Blue Devils would have to return to Potsdam for the opening round of the playoffs.
FA and Gouverneur are slated to square off in Malone this Saturday and the outcome of that game will determine the second and third seeds with the higher of the two serving as the home team in the post-season rematch. The winner of this Saturdays game in Malone will also earn the sections bid to the New York State Class B tournament.
The other two finales this weekend will produce a similar scenario for the consolation tournament as Massena gets set to host Canton on Friday and SLC plays at home to Tupper Lake on Saturday. Massena has beaten both Tupper Lake and Canton and, win or lose Friday night, would finish as the top seed which means the Raiders would turn right around and host the Golden Bears again in the semi-finals. The winner of the SLC-Tupper Lake contest will earn the next highest seed and host the other first round rematch.
POTSDAM HOSTS 0FA
Coached by Jim Kirka, the Sandstoners became the last of the NAC unbeatens last Friday night when they handed Gouverneur its first loss in a 30-8 decision at home under the lights.
Running behind a hard-blocking offensive line, the duo of junior Oden Robertson and senior Adam Lewis has emerged as the most productive rushing tandem in the NAC. Robertson has carried the ball 70 times for 563 yards and 13 touchdowns while Lewis has gone for 518 yards and eight touchdowns on 63 tries. Junior quarterback Will Coleman is also a threat to run the ball and is coming off an efficient passing game against the Wildcats where he completed just two of five passes for 108 yards, an 83-yard touchdown toss to senior Jacob Woods and a 25-yard touchdown connection with senior Garrett Kilgore.
The 4-2 Devils, who are averaging 31 points per game, have developed a multi-faceted offensive package of their own anchored by an offensive line which executes equally well in the spread and wishbone formations. A package which features three proven running threats in quarterback Nate Angel, halfback Jordan McCormick and fullback Zach Sharpe and two physical wide receivers in Josh Liebstein and Alex Farrell.
The Blue Devils are coming off their best rushing outing of the season as they churned out 385 yards against Tupper Lake. Angel enjoyed a career night gaining 228 yards and scoring three touchdowns, McCormick went 8-79 with two TDs and Sharpe went 7-71 yards.
Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. on Friday.
MASSENA HOSTS CANTON
Guided by Anthony Diagostino, the Raiders are looking to finish the regular season on a positive note after having suffered three straight losses. Junior Jeremiah Reagan leads the way offensively this season with 562 yards and 13 touchdowns on 69 carries. Senior Jordy Mitchell has gone for another 380 yards on 62 tries with four touchdowns followed by junior Connor Paquin with 264 yards and one touchdown on 51 totes. Junior quarterback Rory Corcoran has completed 25 of 61 passes for 364 yards while being intercepted three times. Reagan is also the teams leading receiver with 98 yards on nine catches followed by Mitchell (5-76yds) and junior Xavier Viskovich (6-74yds).
The Golden Bears are coming off a discouraging 44-0 loss at home to St. Lawrence Central in a game where promising sophomore runningback Peyton VanBibber was lost for the rest of the season with a serious arm injury and versatile senior standout Jay Proulx spent most of the game on the sideline after reaggravating a ankle injury. Senior Jack Elberty made his first start at quarterback last week while senior Nate Miller and sophomore Hunter Yerdon took over the rushing duties in the wake of the injuries. Senior Cody Peters is a leading threat at receiver.
Kick-off at Mike Nicholas Field on Louie Trevino Senior Night is slated for 7 p.m.
SLC HOSTS TUPPER LAKE
Coached by Bill Scharf, the Larries avoided a winless season in a big way last Saturday when they surged to a 44-0 win on the road over Canton. Senior Jesse Greer has his third straight 100-yard rushing game in the win to raise his season totals to 505 yards and five touchdowns on 81 carries. Classmate Devon Euto, who has handled the majority of the snaps at quarterback this season for the Larries, has made a lead impact running the ball having rushed for more than 100 yards in two of his last three outings giving him 275 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Hes also completed 28 passes for 237 yards with classmate Todd Ramsdell having pulled down 11 of them for 166 yards and a a touchdown. Junior David Plante is another threat to run the ball and has contributed strongly to the passing game with 15 receptions for 137 yards. Junior Mike Burns has also gotten a regular turn at quarterback this season and has completed 35 of his 55 pass attempts.
Tupper Lakes only win of the season also came against Canton as the Lumberjacks look to snap a two-game winless skid. They are coming off a hard-fought loss to OFA where Mitch Keniston completed eight of 25 passes for 109 yards with four different players posting at least two receptions. Keniston, who has taken over at quarterback due to a season-ending injury to junior starter Morgan Stevens, was also the leading rusher against the Blue Devils. Elliott Kerst and Tanner Charland are also emerging offensive contributors.
Saturdays game at Randy Riggs Field kicks of at 1:30 p.m.