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OFA seeks rebound at SLC


In successive home contests, OFA has split two games matching up with the Northern Athletic Conference’s premier rushing attacks and running backs in Massena’s JP Reagan and in Potsdam’s O’den Robertson.

The Devils managed to contain Reagan and the Raider offense in the second half of a 25-20 win but Robertson (23-146 2 TDs) was the main cog in a Potsdam (5-0) ground game which paved the way to a 44-14 victory in a showdown of 4-0 teams last Friday.

On Saturday, the Devils (4-1) will travel to St. Lawrence Central to face the formidable brother backfield combination of freshman halfback Mike Plante and senior David Plante who have combined for nine and six touchdowns.

Mike Plante delivered 224 yards on 14 carries and scored on runs of 35, 49 and 65 yards and took a kickoff 60 yards to the endzone leading the 1-4 Larries to their first win in a 38-12 decision over Gouverneur on Saturday. Dave Plante added 59 yards of tough interior yardage on 13 attempts.

Mike Plante stands third in rushing in the NAC with 549 yards behind Massena’s Reagan (834 yards) and Potsdam’s Robertson (722 yards).

“The Plante brothers are both very good backs. Mike Plante, who is only a ninth grader, is very fast but he is also very hard to tackle,” said OFA Coach Matt Tessmer.

“St. Lawrence is playing with great confidence and that confidence shows throughout their program. Their modified team is playing very well right now.”

OFA’s looks to rebound quickly from its first loss and will be boosted by the return to full duty by quarterback Josh Liebstein and possibility that fullback-linebacker Jordan McCormick might see some action.

Liebstein led the Devils on two touchdown drives in the second half and threw a touchdown pass to Nick Sweeney against Potsdam. McCormick missed the game with an injury.

“Josh (Liebstein) is running better and Jordan McCormick began practicing today. But how much he can play will be determined on Saturday” said Tessmer on Wednesday.

Four players who are totally ready to play are: Joe Loffler, Taylor Richardson, Spencer Mayette and Nolan Rufa who earned the weekly awards from the coaching staff.

Loffler was honored as the Defensive Player of the Week for his hyperactive play at linebacker against Potsdam where he collected 12 tackles. Richardson was recognized as the Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 89 yards and scoring a touchdown in the second half.

Rufa earned the right serve as the Week Six Captain for his fine two-way play at linebacker and in the offensive line. Mayette, who is scheduled to make his first start in the defensive backfield against SLC, received the Hard Worker of the Week Award for his play on special teams and for being in on four tackles in the second half.“

The Devils will look to revive their NAC leading passing attack which was limited to 56 yards by Potsdam. Liebstein (26x43-2-339) and Joey Dalton (29x53-3-419) have combined for 758 yards and both QB’s have thrown six touchdown passes.

Jon Tayler and Nick Sweeney stand second and third in receiving with 17 and 13 catches and Sweeney leads the NAC with six touchdown catches.

Note: OFA received Honorable Mention in this week’s NYS Sportswriters Association Class C Football Poll where Potsdam stands fifth...

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