OGDENSBURG — Ogdensburg Free Academy showed the World Series spirit on Friday night to repeat as Section 10 Class C football champions.
The defense pitched a shutout and returned an interception for a touchdown and quarterback Michael Reed pitched three touchdown passes to Jackson Troiano as the Devils claimed a 24-0 hard-hitting win over St. Lawrence Central.
OFA (8-1) also earned the right to host Friday’s state Class C opener at Potsdam High School against Saranac Central or Saranac Lake, who play today for the Section 7 Class C championship.
“Our defense has worked very hard all season. We might have a down day at practice early in the week but we always bring it back up,” said two-way lineman Matt Rector, who had one of OFA’s five sacks for the defensive unit that limited SLC to 159 yards in total offense. “The guys who came up from the JVs really helped us by going against them this week in practice. We have gotten better over the course of season and I think we have become more physical.”
Cordell David, Luc LaFlair, Mason Tabolt and Nick Snyder also recorded sacks. Tabolt also had a pass interception and a sure tackle in the flat on a fourth-and-one play in the second half. Jordan Fennessy also ended an SLC possession with a fourth down pass breakup.
“Our defense did a great job to get the goose egg and that is what we like to see,” said OFA coach Matt Tessmer.
“This victory today was all about hard work that everyone has put in. It is all about doing the BFSs (Bigger Faster Stronger program), throwing on Sundays and on Tuesdays and Thursdays and doing all the seven-on-sevens. And it all about everyone even guys who didn’t get in the game tonight. Everyone on this team had a part in that banner.”
Troiano caught fives passes for 86 yards with touchdowns of nine and three yards to account for the scoring in the first half in which Reed (13-for-2-, 164 yards) connected with five different receivers while completing 10 of 14 aerials for 95 yards.
“I really like the way Michael Reed is throwing the ball long and short. And it has really been great to see Jackson Troiano catch so many passes this year,” Rector said.
Centered around the rushing of Keith Felix, who gained 65 of his 89 yards on the second half, the Larries threatened with a ball control drive that OFA stopped early in the fourth quarter. The Devils took total control when Troiano leaped over two defenders to catch a 22-yard touchdown pass in the front corner of the end zone for an 18-0 lead. The Larries’ fading hopes then dissolved in a series of major penalties.
Stephen Morley closed out the scoring with 4:09 to play returning an interception 28 yards to the end zone. Troiano also had a leaping interception in the second half of a an pass thrown on the run under pressure by quarterback Isiah Lyons.
“Today’s game wasn’t about big numbers. It wasn’t that kind of game,” Tessmer said. “St. Lawrence has a good team and Cole Coughlin is an outstanding defensive player. He was all over the field making plays on defense.”