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OFA downs Canton in football opener

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After OFA defeated Canton 46-6 in its Northern Athletic Conference Football opener at home, on Friday night, Coach Matt Tessmer attributed the win to a very good week of practice after Saturday’s scrimmage.

“We did a good job cleaning up the mistakes we made last week in practice this week. It was a good solid win and now we need a very good week of practice to get ready to play at Malone Saturday,” said Tessmer. “A football team usually makes its most improvement of the season between the first and second game. And we all know that we need to make a big improvement.”

Against a young Canton team, which showed toughness and signs of promise running the spread offense, the Blue Devils prospered offensively behind senior Josh Liebstein and freshman Joey Dalton who were both seeing their first varsity game action at quarterback.

Liebstein rushed for 77 yards including a two-point conversion, connected on six of seven passes for 40 yards with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nick Sweeney (4-15) and caught a 15-yard scoring strike from Dalton who went 5-5 through the air for 90 yards with a pair of scores.

Dalton’s first touchdown came on a 26-yard connection with Jon Rogers in a 22-point second quarter and he set up his scoring toss to Liebstein in the third quarter with a 30-yard aerial to Ryan Denny. The second quarter burst was triggered by hard-running Jordan McCormick (6-71) who scored on runs of 20 yards and one yard. The second quarter burst was capped by Taylor Richardson scoring on a one-yard plunge after breaking free for a 44-yard scamper.

Rogers, who scored on his first two varsity touches, accounted for the only scoring of the first quarter with a 10-yard run.

In the third quarter OFA sandwiched touchdown catches by Sweeney and Liebstein around a spectacular scoring jaunt by Canton’s Peyton VanBibber (14-111) who broke two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and the raced 70 yards down the right sideline to the endzone.

“Josh Liebstein and Joey Dalton both played well at quarterback for us and we played good defense all night except for that one touchdown which was really a great play. We had him (VanBibber) in the backfield but he got away and then outran Josh (Liebstein)’s pursuit down the sidleine which is hard to do,” said Tessmer.

“It looks like they (Canton) are starting to get things going with their program and I hope they keep it going. Their quarterback played well”.

Canton’s QB Hunter Yerdon gained 41 yards on eight carries and completed seven of 16 passes in the first half where he extended several plays with his roll-out and scrambling abilities. Louden Porter caught three passes for 27 yards in the first half. Jon Tayler caught three passes for 33 yards and kicked two PATs for OFA

Defensively Nolan Rufa set up a touchdown with an interception, Zach Barr recovered a fumble and McCormick (2), Rufa and Mitchel Barber all had key tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the first half break-away. Canton’s T.J. Lumbard recovered a fumble in the endzone on OFA’s first possession.

The OFA JV’s won their season opener 32-0.

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