OFA and Gouverneur show a great deal of similarities in recent history where their rivalry has decided Northern Conference and Section 10 Class C or B titles.
In the current season, the Blue Devils and Wildcats have successfully dealt with all the variables involved in playing high caliber football plus the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Saturday in a game scheduled for 2:30 p.m., the Wildcats will host the Blue Devils in a meeting of two teams who played their way through quarantines to 3-0 NAC records. The 4-0 Devils also own a season-opening 14-13 nonleague victory over Plattsburgh High School. Gouverneur had two games postponed and made up one while OFA postponed its game with Massena last Friday after having several players directed into quarantine for the second time this season.
Players were returning to the Devil camp this week but the team will have only limited practice time with a restored roster.
OFA Athletic Director Tony Bjork related that the school plans to make up the game with Massena which suffered a 44-0 nonleague loss to Moriah of Section 7 on Saturday. Gouverneur still has a game with Canton pending.
In its NAC games this season OFA defeated Potsdam 46-14 and Canton 28-6 with its roster reduced by the first COVID quarantine. The Devils dropped St. Lawrence Central 32-8 with the quarantined players returned to action.
Gouverneur outscored previously unbeaten Watertown High 36-18 on Oct. 1 after blanking St. Lawrence Central 41-0 and pulling away from Malone 43-6.
Gouverneur has displayed its signature multi-dimensional rushing game with Kyle Savage gaining 162 yards on 18 carries, Carter Baer rushing 13 times for 53 yards, Nole LaPierre picked up 40 yards on six carries and sophomore quarterback Holden Stowell rushed nine times for 27 yards in his first varsity start.
Stowell replaced senior quarterback Connor Wood who suffered a season-ending knee injury the week before against St. Lawrence Central.
“What a game! The G-Men battled an very skilled undefeated Watertown team to a 36-18 victory on the road. 5 different guys scored, our defense bent but certainly did not break and our special teams changed the field with solid returns. Unbelievable team effort” said Gouverneur Coach Sean Devlin in a Facebook post.
OFA’s quarterbacks senior Tristan Lovely and junior Conner Graveline have both directed a pair of victories. Lovely as a dual running and passing threat and Graveline as a drop-back pocket passer with Justice McIntyre becoming his primary target.
Senior Drew Costello has developed into a tackle-breaking, game-breaking running back and very accurate place kicker. Against St. Lawrence Central he also led ae defense which used tackles for a loss to stall the Larries’ offense throughout the game. Costello had three tackles behind the line, Ethan Lemke accounted for two and Derek Barr, Justice McIntyre and Keegan England all delivered one.
Against SLC Lovely broke loose for a 38 yard touchdown run and threw a touchdown pass to slot back Adam Calton who also ran for a touchdown.
“We played well and we had a lot of people who made plays tonight. Defensively we played well and our linemen continue to progress. Overall we had a lot of people who improved and that is what we are looking for,” said Coach Tessmer after the win over SLC.