OGDENSBURG — Ogdensburg Free Academy will take aim at the state semifinals not far from its home turf when it takes on Section 2 champion Schuylerville in Saturday’s state Class C football quarterfinal at 2 p.m.
The Blue Devils (9-1) will play the Black Horses (10-0) at Massena Central’s Mike Nicholas Field in Massena. Schuylerville beat Fonda-Fultonville, 26-16, in the Section 2 title game last Friday.
OFA is looking to repeat its 2018 run to the state semifinals where it lost to Section 1’s Dobbs Ferry, which is also part of this weekend’s quarterfinals. Dobbs Ferry is slated to play Section 9’s O’Neill at noon Saturday.
In the other bracket, top-ranked Medina of Section 6 is scheduled to play Section 5 champion East Rochester/ Gananda, and second-ranked Skaneateles of Section 3 plays fourth-ranked Chenango Forks of Section 4.
Medina, which won the Section 6 title, 58-6, over Fredonia is coached by Eric Valley, the son of Ogdensburg natives Tom and Katie (Farrand) Valley.
Schuylerville won the Section 2 title after previous playoff wins of 54-19 over Taconic Hills and 48-0 over Voorheesville.
Playing as the host team, the Section 10 champion Blue Devils will drawing strength from outstanding community support, illustrated by the motorcade that escorted them in the final 14 miles to home from Plattsburgh on Saturday after the team’s 28-14 victory over Section 7’s Saranac Lake in the state opener.
The Waddington Fire and Rescue Squad met the team, followed by the Lisbon and Heuvelton fire departments and when they reached the outskirts of the city, they were greeted by representatives from the Ogdensburg Police Department, the Ogdensburg Fire Department, the Ogdensburg DPW, the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Riverview and Ogdensburg Correctional Facilities.
The Black Horses remained unbeaten after Friday’s Section 2 title win. Schuylerville quarterback Owen Sherman was quoted in the Saratogian, saying, “we made big-time plays at big times.”
The Black Horses opened a 20-8 lead, but Fonda-Fultonville cut the difference to 20-16 in the fourth quarter. The Horses answered with a 41-yard pass from Sherman to Ryan Dow, who made a leaping catch. Sophomore Luke Sherman (22 carries, 115 yards) followed with his third touchdown of the game as the Black Horses posted their 18th straight win.
OFA is also accustomed to making big plays at big times.
OFA quarterback Tristan Lovely has rushed for 431 yards with 11 touchdowns and has gained 77 and 85 yards in the past two games.
Drew Costello leads the team with 735 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns and sophomore Andrew Loffler (402 rushing yards) has expanded his role scoring four touchdowns in the last three games. Adam Calton (31-112) has rushed for two touchdowns.
“Adam Calton has really become a clutch receiver for us,” OFA head coach Matt Tessmer said.
Through the air Lovely’s passing has involved a crew of receivers. Justice McIntyre (29-385, 6 TDs), Calton (14-222, 2 TDs), Costello (9-273, 5 TDs), Connor Graveline (3-86, 2 TDs) and Gannon Kelly (1-9, TD) have all caught touchdown passes and Alex Worden (5-70) has also been a reliable target.
Luke Sherman (689 yards 19 TDs) and freshman Landen Cumm (421 yards) have been the primary ball-carriers for Schuylerville, and Owen Sherman has gained 225 yards on keepers and has completed 65 of 102 passes for 1,005 yards and nine touchdowns, finding six receivers 10 times or more directing the flexbone offense. Sherman is a three-year starter and played a key role in the 2019 appearance in the Class B finals where the Horses lost to Chenango Valley.
n NOTE: Saturday’s game can be viewed on television through the following link: http://gofan.co/appevents458487?school id=NYSPHSAAX...The game will also be broadcast live on 1400 AM ESPN Radio in Ogdensburg.