GOUVERNEUR — The relationship between Gouverneur football coach Sean Devlin and his senior quarterback Caleb Farr is strong, which is one reason why the Wildcats have been so successful the past two seasons.
“He will relate to (the staff) on the sideline during the game what he thinks would work, what’s not working,” Devlin said of Farr. “He’s a headsy player and he knows the offense and we take his suggestions. Him and I will communicate via text some nights. He’s very into the game, the mental part, and that’s a bonus for us.”
The Wildcats, who have won the first three games of the season, are heading into their biggest test of the season tonight when they make the short drive to Ogdensburg to play the Blue Devils at 7 p.m. in a matchup of two of the three remaining undefeated teams in the Northern Athletic Conference. Potsdam has also won its first three games.
Gouverneur has not lost a regular-season game in the past three seasons, but in two of those seasons, OFA avenged a regular-season loss with a playoff victory, including last year when the Blue Devils won the Section 10 Class C title, 28-0.
It’s a friendly and familiar rivalry. Just as Farr plays for Devlin now, Devlin was once coached at Gouverneur by current OFA coach Matt Tessmer, and his first high school coaching job was on Tessmer’s staff with the Wildcats.
“For them, as well as us, this has become a huge game in the last five or six years,” Devlin said. “We know that game has possible home-field advantage. The winner of that game will host a home game in the playoffs, possibly a championship game in the playoffs.
“We’ve won quite a few times on their field and they’ve won quite a few games on our field. We (Devlin and Tessmer) have had the pleasure of coaching against each other. After the game we are friends, we text, we get along very well. It’s a unique situation. (Tessmer) knows me inside and out and we know him inside and out.”
Farr, in his first season as varsity quarterback last year, helped the Wildcats to a 22-20 victory over OFA in Gouverneur.
“I think it’s really important,” Farr said of extending the undefeated streak.
“It’s another thing to play for. We play to win, but we are a target of other teams and they are trying to knock us off and we can’t let them.”
Farr has helped the Wildcats outscore the opposition, 160-30, so far this season, leading a run-first offense and contributing in the secondary on defense.
He has rushed for 272 yards on 38 carries, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. He’s completed nine of 20 passes for 310 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
“It’s my last year so I put more into it on the field as a leader,” Farr said. “I try to point out plays that I think will go, or keep (teammates’) heads up when they are down.
“I like how, compared to last year, there are so many other ways we can score. We didn’t pass a lot last year and I like how we are starting to pass more. It’s giving teams a whole different view of us.”
Said Devlin, “Our philosophy is we will try to run the football as much as we can and throw if we have to, or by surprise. We created and tailor plays for Caleb. He’s not really a pocket passer, he’s not tall enough (5-foot-7). Everything has to be play-action or a roll out. If his reads aren’t there, he can take off running. I’ve seen him frustrated, but he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve. If he’s frustrated he keeps it in and tries to fix it. He understands that negativity is contagious. I never see him be negative. That’s one thing I like about him. He never takes a play off, I don’t care if it’s in practice or a game.”
THE FARR FILE
Parents: Corie and Tammy Farr
Siblings: Brother, Jesse; Sister, Alyssa
Other: Section 10 outdoor champion in long jump and triple jump