There were tenative times early in the season when OFA didnt look like a football team headed for a 6-1 Northern Conference record.
On Friday night, the Blue Devils finished a 6-1 regular season by consistently controlling the ball and the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in a 40-22 Senior Night victory which was befitting of their record.
Before the game the school district honored 11 seniors and all 11 had made contributions in starting roles in a campaign where the Devils stayed in the NAC title race until Potsdam completed 7-0 run with a 36-14 victory over Massena on Friday.
Honored along with their parents were: Spencer Mayette, Taylor Bouchard, Jordan McCormick, Josh Liebstein, Chandler Barney, Ryan Denny, Jon Tayler, Kevin Goolden, Nick Barr, Jacob King and Mitchell Barber.
During the summer some people talked to me about how we were headed for a rebuilding season. These guys just decided to rebuild quickly, said OFA Coach Matt Tessmer who will have his team at home on Friday to host Canton in the Class C semi-finals of the Section 10 Tournament.
We are really proud of everyone and we received outstanding senior leadership all season. Now its on to the playoffs.
Liebstein provided state of the art offensive leadership at quarterback as he ran for three scores and efficiently passed for three touchdowns on four completions.
Liebstein (8-57) scored on keepers from four and five yards out in the first half as the finisher in a rushing offense which would eventually generate 228 yards led by a 108 yards on 12 carries by fullback Jordan McCormick.
Liebsteins only pass completion of the first half went to Jon Tayler for a 56 yard touchdown. Liebstein pitched an 11-yard slant-in dart to Nick Sweeney to cap the first possession of the third quarter and the third of four Jon Tayler PATs created a 33-0 lead.
The Wildcats, who will play Malone for the Class B crown in the sectional tournament, gained some momentum for the postseason by scoring three of the last four touchdowns.
Quarterback Ben Casey (10-79) took a cutback keeper 50 yards to the endzone in the third quarter and caught a pass from Troy Gates for the conversion.
After Jon Rogers caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Liebstein, Gates scored on offense and defense in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcat junior capped a ball control drive with a five-yard run and then ran 40 yards to the endzone after intercepting an option pitch. Aaron McEathron converted both scores with PAT kicks.
We ran the ball really well tonight. Our line blocked extremely well and our backs all ran hard, said Tessmer. Gouverneur has been hurt by turnovers all year but they didnt turn the ball at all tonight. They had some injuries but they played tough.
TWO MINUTE DRILL: McCormicks 108-yard rushing night was anchored in a 47-yard run which set up a first half touchdown...Kevin Goolden started a second quarter scoring drive with a fourth down stop...Jacob King, Joe Loffler and Nolan Rufa all delivered two tackles behind the line of scrimmage for the OFA defense which allowed only 60 yards in the first half...On Thursday the OFA JVs downed Massena 35-17.
on the final JV game on the football field at the Alton W. Elliott Complex.