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Massena, Potsdam football teams look to extend strong NAC starts

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The Massena Central and Potsdam Central varsity football teams will look to keep their strong starts on track this weekend against teams looking for their first wins in week three of the Northern Athletic Conference season.

MASSENA AT SLC

Having generated a pair of impressive wins at home to open the season, the Raiders head down Rt. 420 to take on longtime rival St. Lawrence Central in Brasher Falls on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the Larries Homecoming Game.

Guided by Anthony Diagostino, Massena has found success both running the ball and passing it behind a solid offensive line centered by senior Cody Hooper that also included guards Josh Blair and Sam Gerber and tackles Ross Davis and Nolan Terrance.

Coming off an impressive 309-yard performance in last weekend’s win over Tupper Lake, senior running back JP Reagan enters the third week of the season as the leading rusher in the NAC with 391 yards and six touchdowns on 30 carries. Junior Isaiah Dilliabough has gone for another 130 yards on just 12 runs as the next-leading rushing threat out of the backfield. Senior Rory Corcoran found his passing touch against Lumberjacks connected for three touchdown passes to junior Josh Manley, who has caught five passes in two games for 132 yards. Corcoran has connected on 11 of 28 passes for 173 yards while being intercepted once.

The Raiders have also shown good balance on defense led by Dillabough with 15 tackles and Reagan with 10. Senior linebackers Connor Paquin and Jeremy Malone have nine tackles each while Blair and Davis have broken through the line of scrimmage for three sacks apiece. The defensive secondary has stepped up to produce six interceptions through the first two games led by Manley with three and Matt Thibault with two while Malone has accounted for the other.

The Larries, guided by Bill Scharf, are coming off a loss on the road to Potsdam where they stood tall early against the Sandstoners trailing just 8-6 at the end of the first quarter but couldn’t keep pace through the four quarters in dropping a 54-12 decision.

Senior quarterback Mike Burns has connected on 12 of 29 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns while being intercepted twice. Senior David Plante has been a leading two-way threat out of the Larries backfield with 150 yards on seven receptions and another 106 yards on 26 carries while having scored four touchdowns. Freshman Mike Plante has emerged as the team’s top ball-carrier with 194 on 23 totes.

POTSDAM HOSTS CANTON

The Rt. 11 rivals square off this evening at the Potsdam Central turf field starting at 7 p.m. as the Sandstoners look to move to 3-0 after having fashioned a pair of lopsided wins over Gouverneur and SLC to open the season.

Guided by Jim Kirka, Potsdam relies once again on a punishing ground game to set the tone for its offense led by junior tailback O’den Robertson, who has rushed for 359 yards and six touchdowns on 38 carries. Chase Palmer has also been effective out of the Sandstoner backfield with 185 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 runs. Senior quarterback Will Coleman has completed seven of 13 passes for 49 yards and two touchdowns and is a potential threat to run the ball as well. Jacob Bryant has pulled down five passes for 35 yards as the team’s leading receiver.

Canton, which is playing without a homefield this season due to renovations, is coming off hard-fought overtime loss at Gouverneur. The Bears, coached by Austin Weakfall, are led offensively by the trio of quarterback Hunter Yerdon, who has converted on 11 of 35 passes for 119 yards and one touchdown while being intercepted three times, runningback Peyton VanBibber, who has gone for 162 yards on 27 carries, and Louden Porter, who has pulled down four passes for 53 yards. Cole Zeller had three catches for 52 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown grab in the loss to Gouverneur.

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