GOUVERNEUR — Gouverneur sophomore Kyle Savage saved a potential four-year win streak by kicking an extra point in the second overtime period to give the Wildcats a 15-14 victory over the Potsdam Sandstoners in a Northern Athletic Conference football game Saturday.
Savage’s kick brought elation from the Gouverneur sideline as the Wildcats kept alive their chance to produce a fourth straight undefeated NAC regular season. It brought disappointment to a Potsdam squad that also had been undefeated and gave the Wildcats their biggest scare during this four-year run.
“I was really nervous,” Savage said. “(Coach Sean Devlin) called a timeout to help me calm down. That helped a lot. The snap was good and Jacob Shippee got the hold down nice with the laces out. It was a fun experience. It was hard-fought. We all were excited when it finally went through. It was a big deal for us. We wanted to keep (the win streak) going.”
Savage’s moment came about after what was truly a group effort on the game-tying touchdown. Statistically Wildcats quarterback Caleb Farr ran 12 yards for the score, but by the time Farr reached the 8-yard line, he was in a group of Wildcats and Sandstoners and kept his legs moving and eventually the standing pile reached the end zone.
“All the linemen just carried me right to it,” Farr said. “Once I felt the flow kicking faster and faster I knew I was going to get in. It was a great game. I love playing in these type of games, you don’t get them a lot. It shows that we can overcome just about anything.”
Both teams failed to score during their respective first attempts in overtime and Potsdam (4-1 overall) gained the ball first in the second overtime. The Sandstoners scored on a 2-yard run from Will Varney (28 carries-135 yards) to take a 14-8 lead. Potsdam was unable to run in the 2-point conversion, which set Gouverneur up with the chance to win.
“It was a good game but we made too many mistakes, bottom line, that’s it,” Potsdam coach Jim Kirka said. “The defenses were both good. They are a good team. We are a good team. We made more mistakes.”
Saturday’s game started out like many games have this season for the Wildcats (5-0) as they moved right down the field, running the ball on their first possession. Gouverneur got to a 4th-and-1 at the Potsdam 26 but was called for having 12 players in the huddle, moving the ball back five yards. On the next play Potsdam’s Bobby Voss stopped a running play two yards short of the first-down line.
The next time Gouverneur had the ball it fumbled on its own 36 with Potsdam’s K.J. Sapp recovering.
That turnover eventually led to the first touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run by Varney, who also ran in the 2-point conversion with 9 minutes, 29 seconds left in the first half.
Gouverneur responded with a touchdown on the next drive even when it appeared Potsdam had thwarted the drive when it was 4th-and-10 on the Sandstoner 46. But the Wildcats ran a fake punt and Joseph Cummings gained 12 yards, setting up an 8-yard run by Cayden Stowell a few plays later, followed by a 2-point run from Mitchell Tyler to tie the game 8-8 with 3:02 left in the first half.
The Wildcats reached the Potsdam 1 with 3:43 left in the third quarter but a 4th-down run was stopped short with a tackle by Varney.
Potsdam reached the Wildcats 26 late in the game but a 43-yard winning field goal attempt was blocked by Gouverneur’s Tyler Tupper.
“It was extremely stressful,” Gouverneur coach Sean Devlin said. “We knew they were going to be good. We knew we had to play perfectly in order to beat them. We both had chances and both defenses stepped up. You work on things all week long and it doesn’t come together in a game. It’s adversity and you have to work through that. They had us on the ropes several different times and we were able to bounce back.”