GOUVERNEUR Jose Flores stayed home, and because of the defensive backs astute positional play, Gouverneur claimed an emotional 12-6 homecoming weekend victory in overtime against Canton on Saturday.
Flores snatched his second interception of the Northern Athletic Conference game in overtime when Canton went to the air on its first play after Gouverneur quarterback Troy Gates scored on a fourth-down keeper from 14 yards out. The play sealed the victory for Gouverneur.
The receiver cut into the end zone and I knew it was going to be a pass so I dropped back in front of him, said Flores recalling the play where Canton quarterback Hunter Yerdon rolled out to the left flank. I knew that I couldnt leave my man and it was just a great win for us. We found a place in our heart where we just refused to lose. Canton is a good team and they made a crazy comeback.
The Bears were stymied for much of the game. But gained hope with 6 minutes, 41 seconds to play after a Gouverneur touchdown pass was nullified by an illegible receiver downfield penalty.
Yerdon, starting from Cantons 22-yard line, directed the much needed offensive awakening by scrambling for 18 yards on a fourth-and-16 play and then throwing an 18-yard pass to Cole Zeller for a 20-yard touchdown on a third-and-11 play with 1:24 remaining in regulation to eventually force overtime.
The dramatic drive answered a 76-yard scoring drive by Gouverneur, which culminated with a one-yard plunge by fullback Aaron McEathron 9:36 before the half. Gates, who gained 84 of his 139 yards in the first half, keyed the drive with runs of 28 and 20 yards.
The drive broke through against a Canton defense that produced two fourth down stops inside the 30 and a fumble recovery by Chris Tompkins at the Bears 14.
While the Bears defense bent but didnt break, the Wildcats unit was unyielding in the first half allowing just 44 yards.
Canton had some excellent players and they are a good team. We knew we had to contain their quarterback but late in the game we didnt do a good job at that, said Gouverneur coach Sean Devlin.
But we came up with the big plays to win the game before a huge crowd.
Yerdon ran for 38 yards and completed three passes for 52 yards to Zeller. He also found Louden Porter for a 26 yard connection. One of 10 underclassmen on the Bears roster, Yerdon also made two of his nine tackles in overtime and broke up a two-point conversion try.
Peyton VanBibber, who rushed for 51 yards, made five of his seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage and Porter made six stops.
We showed a lot of character today and we made a big jump from the first and second week of the season, said Canton coach Austin Weakfall. It showed on the scoreboard and in our tackling. Now we have to keep betting better.
McEathron and Dustin Hutton led the Gouverneur defense with six tackles and Bush added five.
■ NOTES: At halftime Gouverneur Central announced the 2013 Class of the school districts Wall of Fame. Wayne Bush (1956), Dick Dier (1954), Lesley Gooding (1985), Nate Hopper (1993), Bernie Stevens (1970) and Dick Tessmer (1953) were honored, along with the 1985 baseball team, by past inductee Bob Audycki. Members of the baseball team were A.J. Andrews, Aaron Redmond, Karl Prashaw, Marty Goodale, Dennis Love, Dan Barr, Larry Marcellus, Brian Clemmons, Kris Anderson, Pat Clancy, Rick Wood, Ken Hight, Jeff Villeveuve and Steve Besaw.
MASSENA 47, TUPPER LAKE 20
J.P. Reagan rushed for an 80-yard touchdown on his first carry and finished with 307 yards rushing on 12 carries, leading the Red Raiders to a win in Massenas Hall of Fame Game.
Reagan finished with three touchdowns, including a 64-yard run in the third quarter. Rory Corcoran completed six passes for 135 yards for Massena (2-0), hitting Josh Manley for three touchdown passes.
Morgan Stevens threw for 209 yards for the Lumberjacks (1-1) and Mitch Keniston caught nine passes for 126 yards.
POTSDAM 54, ST. LAWRENCE 12
Oden Robertson rushed for 183 yards on 21 carries, including two touchdowns, to lead the Sandstoners (2-0) past St. Lawrence Central in Potsdams Hall of Fame Game.
Robertson also returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown. Potsdam built a 22-6 lead by halftime and then scored 22 more points in the third quarter to pull away.
The Larries (0-2) were led by Mike Plantes 89 yards rushing.
OFA 13, MALONE 6
Josh Liebstein threw two touchdown passes in the second half to Nick Sweeney to give OFA (2-0) a win over the Huskies in Malone.
Liebsteins first touchdown pass went for five yards with 5 minutes, 51 seconds left in the third quarter to the tie game 6-6. He found Sweeney for 31 yards with 2:30 left in the game to give OFA the victory.
Malone (0-2) scored first when Abe Gravell returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.