OFA Coach Matt Tessmer and Potsdam Coach Jim Kirka share two important thoughts concerning Friday nights Section 10 Class C Football Championship Game (7 p.m. kickoff) on the Stoners all-weather turf field.
Both feel that it will be an outstanding game and both coaches feel that their teams have improved since the regular season meeting which was won by Potsdam 44-14.
OFA will be dramatically improved physically as two of their most physical players in quarterback-defensive Josh Liebstein and fullback-linebacker Jordan McCormick will be back at full strength for the Devils.
Hobbled by a foot injury Liebstein didnt play until the second half in the regular meeting after the Stoners had bolted out to a large lead. McCormick missed the entire game with an injury.
Potsdam enters the contest at 8-0 and ranked fourth in this weeks New York State Class C Poll while OFA holds the number 18 ranking. The contest will match the top scoring teams in Section 10 as Potsdam has tallied 372 points and OFA 263.
Potsdam Coach Jim Kirka feels those numbers could point to a high-scoring game.
I think it is going to be a good game next week. They (OFA) did have guys missing last time. It will be the team that doesnt make mistakes which will come out on top, he said to the Daily Courier Observer after Fridays 48-16 victory over St. Lawrence Central which gave the Stoners two straight undefeated NAC seasons.
I think weve gotten better since we last played them. I think its probably going to be a shootout.
Liebstein triggers a very balanced OFA offense passing for 613 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushing for 405 yards and nine touchdowns. Running back Oden Robertson leads the Stoners with 1230 yards and 23 TDs and quarterback Will Coleman has completed 27 of 44 passes for 461 yards and seven touchdowns without throwing an interception.
Potsdam also owns the best defensive mark at 94 points while OFA stands third at 166 points.
The winner of Fridays game will move into the New York State Tournament opposite Saranac Lake or Saranac Central who play for the Section 7 title on Saturday.
OFA is coming off two very complete games of the season in a 42-22 win over Gouverneur and 48-0 over Canton.
Tessmer called the win over Canton such a complete effort that the coaching staff bestowed the Players of the Week Awards to the entire team.
Everybody went out and played extremely well. So we decided to honor the whole team. And we really needed a game like that, said Tessmer in reference to matching up with the quality Potsdam shows talent and depth throughout its lineup.
Potsdams offensive line is very good, their backs run the ball and do it well and their quarterback (Will Coleman) does everything well and is an extremely accurate passer. Most most of their guys go both ways so they have a strong and very athletic defense.
Since returning to full strength OFA has reeled off high scoring wins of 52-40 over St. Lawrence, 40-22 over Gouverneur and OFA 48-0.
The Devil coaches and backs have cited the the offensive line where Devin Compo moved from tackle to guard to replace Nathan Rishe who suffered a knee injury against SLC, Jake King became a two-way starter joining center Zach Barr, guard Nolan Rufa and tackle Kevin Goolden. Goolden and King also start on the defensive line with Will Pearson.