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Potsdam Central football team surges past SLC into Class C final

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POTSDAM - St. Lawrence Central gave the unbeaten Potsdam Central football team all it could handle in the first half of Friday night’s Class C sectional semifinal on the Sandstoner turf field.

Despite Potsdam recovering five fumbles over the first two quarters, the Larries trailed just 14-6 at intermission.

But the Sandstoners (8-0) scored 24 unanswered points in the third quarter and pulled away to a 46-18 victory. That sets up next Friday night’s Class C sectional championship game back at Potsdam versus OFA which routed Canton in last night’s other semifinal.

“It was the same thing when we played them the first time, in fact the same score at halftime. St. Lawrence is a gritty team. They came out and played hard and did a good job,” said Potsdam coach Jim Kirka.

“We didn’t really make any adjustments at halftime. Our kids just came out and did their job better in the second half. But if we do that again next week, we won’t win. You can’t decide when you want to start playing football. Once you step on the field, every play matters.”

O’den Robertson was again a big-play maker for the Sandstoners last night. The senior and former Larrie who transferred to Potsdam three years ago, rushed 20 times for 204 yards and three touchdowns in going over the 1,100-yard rushing mark for the season.

Robertson scored on a 37-yard run around the right end in the second quarter to break a 6-6 deadlock and give Potsdam the 14-6 lead at halftime. In the 24-point third quarter, he set up an Andrew Ace touchdown plunge for a six-pointer with runs of 29 and 11 yards to the one-yard line; scored on a 48-yard scamper after a nice cutback; and then closed out the third-quarter scoring by hauling in a perfect 45-yard strike from quarterback Will Coleman and crossing the goal line.

David Plante, who rushed for 167 yards on 21 carries for the Larries (1-7), ran for touchdowns of 23 and three yards in the fourth quarter, sandwiched around Robertson’s fourth touchdown of the night, a three-yard rush up the middle.

In the first quarter, Coleman scored on a 15-yard rushing effort before Larrie quarterback Mike Burns tied the game on a one-yard sneak. Coleman also threw for three two-point conversions on the night.

Recovering fumbles last night for Potsdam were Zack Rottier, Travis Hall, Jordan Buffham, Josh Laing and Matt Liscum. Mark Crump recovered a fumble for SLC which lost top running back Mike Plante to injury early in the contest.

“I think it’s going to be a good game next week,” said Kirka whose team handed OFA its only loss of the season, a 44-14 setback during the regular season. “They (OFA) did have guys missing last time. It’ll be the team which doesn’t make mistakes which will come out on top. I think we’ve gotten better offensively since we last played them. I think it’s probably gonna be a shootout.

OFA 48, Canton 0: In the final game slated to be played on the grass gridiron at OFA, the host Blue Devils bolted out to a 27-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Senior Josh Liebstein led the winning effort, rushing for 71 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries while connecting on all eight of his passes form 120 yards and another touchdown. Jon Rogers also made lead all-around contributions with 33 yards and two touchdowns on five rushes while going for another 83 yards on three catches.

Hunter Yerdon was the leading offensive threat for Canton (1-7) with 38 yards on 11 carries while completing six of 18 passes for 70 yards with two interceptions. Cole Zeller caught three passes for 49 yards.

In a post-season non-league matchup on Friday, Tupper Lake beat Gouverneur 34-7.



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