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Farrell helps OFA reach goals

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To gauge Alex’s Farrell’s value to the Ogdensburg Free Academy football team, you need only to watch the game film of Friday’s 44-14 win over St. Lawrence Central in which the Blue Devils clinched the Section 10 Class C berth for the New York State Tournament and closed in a berth in the Northern Conference Tier I playoffs.

Farrell jump-started the OFA offense by turning a quick pass from quarterback Nate Angel into a 35-yard gain to the SLC 1 yard-line to set up the first touchdown of the game.

Farrell, who caught four passes for 66 yards overall, would later set up another touchdown with a 14-yard reception, and sustain a scoring drive with a diving third-down grab. When Angel went down briefly with an injury in the fourth quarter, he took over the offense and picked up 18 yards on a fourth-down keeper to set up another touchdown.

Playing defensive safety, he made five tackles, made a diving pass breakup in the front of the end zone, and was involved in the coverage that denied a Larrie pass in the back of the end zone on the final play of the first half.

On the season, Farrell has played wide receiver — where ranks among the league leaders with 16 catches for 260 yards — running back and quarterback on offense, and safety and linebacker on defense. He’s one of the most versatile players in the Northern Conference. He has also made contributions on special teams, most notably a 43-yard kickoff return against Malone.

OFA coach Matt Tessmer said the versatility of the Devil senior co-captain goes beyond his listing on the depth chart and said his main position is “a very good football player.”

“Alex Farrell has played receiver, running back, quarterback, safety and linebacker whenever we have needed him. There are other players that have that kind of ability in the league, but Alex is one of the few who have gone out played so many positions this season,” Tessmer said.

“And he could play other positions if we needed him do. If he had to, I am sure he could play defensive tackle or center. He is just an excellent football player, he is very tough and a player who is extremely smart. He is just an outstanding leader.”

Farrell accepted the challenge of becoming a team leader after being elected as a team co-captain along with Zach Sharpe, Jake Garrison and John Morrison and prepared himself for the role through training sessions in the weight room.

“Alex came into the season in great shape and, through hard work, he made himself quicker, stronger and a more flexible athlete,” Tessmer said.

Farrell, who also pitches in baseball and plays forward in basketball, said football is his favorite sport, and is interested in playing football and possibly pitching at SUNY Brockport next year.

“I have always enjoyed football because of the contact and of all the positions I have played. I really enjoy safety because you are right in the middle of the action and you can see everything that is going on,” said Farrell, who also enjoys continuing a family tradition in OFA athletics, which includes his dad, Mike Farrell, who pitched at LeMoyne College and was picked in the major league amateur draft.

Along the lines of tradition, Farrell takes great satisfaction in the way the Blue Devils rebounded from a 15-6 opening day loss to Gouverneur to record a 38-14 win over Massena as the springboard to a successful season.

“I think the loss to Gouverneur was a real wake-up call for us and to come back and win at Massena, which is a real rivalry game, says a lot about our team,” Farrell said.

“Right now everyone is playing very hard, and our line is pushing people off the ball. Everyone is excited about finishing the regular season well and going on to the playoffs and the states.”

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