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Potsdam, Massena look to set stage for NAC football showdown with wins

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The 2013 NAC football regular season championship could very well come down to a Friday night matchup between Potsdam Central and Massena Central on October 18th in Potsdam.

Before that happens, both squads will need to get past underdog opponents this Friday night on their home turfs as Potsdam (5-0) takes on Tupper Lake (2-3) and Massena (4-1) plays host to Gouverneur (1-4).

The other two Week Six games have St. Lawrence Central (1-4) taking on OFA (4-1) in the lone Saturday afternoon encounter while Canton (1-4) travels to Malone to face Franklin Academy (2-3) in a Friday matinee that is slated to kick-off at 3 p.m.

POTSDAM HOSTS TUPPER LAKE

The Sandstoners enter the game as the fifth-ranked Class C school in the latest New York State High School Sportswriters poll for the second straight week. They are coming off a 44-14 win on the road over previously undefeated OFA and have outscored their five opponents 44-14 under the guidance of coach Jim Kirka and his staff.

The majority of the Potsdam offense has once again been produced on the ground led by O’den Robertson with 722 yards and 12 touchdowns on 91 carries. Chase Palmer is the team’s next leading rusher with 355 yards on 36 runs. Rian McFadden and David Murray have also contributed out of the backfield.

Senior quarterback Will Coleman has also been a leading all-around threat on offense for Potsdam. Along with being the team’s third-leading rusher, he has connected on 19 of his 30 passes for 254 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions. Five of his touchdown passes have been to Jacob Bryant. Travis Hall has been on the receiving end of two endzone strikes and Max Warden for the other.

Tupper Lake is coming off a tough 25-24 loss to Franklin Academy. Senior quarterback Morgan Stevens has connected for six touchdowns passes in the last two games for the Lumberjacks. Classmate Mitch Keniston is his favorite aerial target while senior Jeremy Roussel is averaging nearly 100 yards per game as the team’s leading rusher. Cody LaPierre is another offensive threat.

Friday night’s game in Potsdam is slated to kick-off at 7 p.m.

MASSENA HOSTS GOUVERNEUR

The Raiders bounced back from their only loss of the season with a 28-8 win at home over Canton last week as they gear up to take on a rebuilding Gouverneur squad that slipped to 1-4 on the year after dropping a 38-12 decision at home to St. Lawrence Central.

Guided by Anthony Diagostino, the Raiders have produced most of their offense on the ground led by senior runningback JP Reagan, who has amassed a league-high 884 yards and 12 touchdowns on 88 carries. Senior quarterback Rory Corcoran has made lead contributions with both his arm and legs, having completed 23 of 71 passes for 328 yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions while having run for 215 yards and a touchdowns on 32 carries. Junior Isaiah Dillabough is the team’s next-leading rusher with 194 yards and two touchdowns on 26 tries while junior Josh Manley has emerged as one of the top receiving threats in the NAC with 244 yards and five touchdowns on 13 grabs.Junior Jayce Lanning has kicked six PAT’s and senior Jeremy Malone is averaging more than 32 yards as the team’s punter.

The Raider defense has only allowed 71 points through five games. From their linebacker spots, Malone and Dillabough have produced 35 and 28 tackles respectively. Reagan has been in on another 22 takedowns followed by senior Sam Gerber with 18 and classmate Connor Paquin with 17. The Raiders have also generated 16 sacks this season led by seniors Josh Blair and Ross Davis with three apiece. Dillabough has another two along with Gerber and senior Robert Cunningham. The Massena defense has also notched 10 interceptions through five games led by Manley with three and junior Matt Thibault with three.

Senior Troy Gates is Gouverneur’s leading offensive threat. Along with having rushed for more than 400 yards, he’s also completed 19 of 50 passes for 121 yards. Ben Casey got the starting nod at quarterback in last weekend’s loss to SLC where he completed three of 10 passes for 51 yards with Gates logging two receptions for 49 yards. Adrian McShane is coming off a big game running the ball for 150 yards on 16 tries against the Larries. Aaron Bush has grabbed 10 passes for 65 yards.

Friday night’s game at Mike Nicholas Field will be the final regular season contest at home for 19 Raider seniors and is slated to kick-off at 7:30 p.m.

SLC HOSTS OFA

The Larries made a strong recovery in pulling away to a 38-12 decision on the road over Gouverneur for their first win in five tries this season.

Guided by Bill Scharf, the Larries will now get set to take on and OFA squad that will be looking to regroup from its only loss. Senior quarterback Mike Burns anchors the SLC offense along the duo of freshman Mike Plante and senior David Plante. Burns has completed 24 of 65 passes for 303 yards and two touchdown with three interceptions while Mike Plante is the team’s leading rusher with 599 yards and 10 touchdowns on 51 carries. Davis Plante has run for another 293 yards and six touchdowns on 44 carries while having pulled down 16 passes for 197 yards. Mike Plante has also returned two kick-offs and a punt for touchdowns.

Senior Josh Liebstein has handled the majority of snaps at quarterback for the Blue Devils. He’s completed 26 of 43 passes for 339 yards and five touchdowns while being intercepted twice. Freshman Joey Dalton had completed 28 of 47 pases for 423 yards and six touchdowns before struggling in last week’s loss to Potsdam. The duo of Jon Tayler (17x192 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Nick Sweeney (13x121 yards, 6 touchdowns) has accounted for the majority of the receiving yards while senior Jordan McCormick, who did not play against Potsdam last week, anchors the OFA running game, having gone for 358 yards on 52 carries.

Saturday’s game is slated for a 1:30 p.m. kick-off.

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