GOUVERNEUR - Jose Flores stayed home, and because of the defensive backs astute positional play, Gouverneur claimed a very emotional 12-6 Homecoming Weekend victory in overtime over Canton on Saturday in Northern Athletic Conference action.
Flores snatched his second interception of the game in overtime when Canton went to the air on its first play after Gouverneur quarterback Troy Gates took a fourth down keeper 14 yards to the endzone.
The receiver cut into the endzone 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 forced a quick decision by rolling 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 and with 6:41 to play faced a must move-the-ball possession at their own 22 yardline after a Gouverneur touchdown pass was nullified by an illegible receiver downfield penalty.
Yerdon directed the much needed offensive awakening by throwing an 18 yard pass to Cole Zeller, scrambling for 18 yards on a fourth and 16 play and then hitting Zeller with a perfectly thrown 20-yard touchdown pass on a third and 11 play with 1:24 remaining in the game.
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 to counter effective productive sweeps by Adrian McShane (8-59) and Aaron Bush (5-46).
The drive broke through against a Canton defense which 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. It was an awesome football game and I am so proud and happy for our kids.
Yerdon ran for 38 yards and completed three passes for 52 yards to Zeller and 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. Justin Garrison had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter and Nate Drake added one.
Wall of Fame Induction: 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 coach 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.