GOUVERNEUR Though the Ogdensburg Free Academy football team marched 98 yards to score its only touchdown on Saturday, Gouverneur posted the programs first victory in 11 years over the Blue Devils, 15-6, in an Northern Athletic Conference season-opening game.
After Blue Devils quarterback Nate Angel scored on a five-yard, fourth-down keeper with 6 minutes, 1 second to play in the fourth quarter, the final momentum swing of the game came down to a matter of inches.
Gouverneurs Adrian McShane stopped Angel inches from the goal line on the try for the two-point conversion to protect a Wildcat 7-6 lead.
The Wildcats then protected and expanded their lead by keeping the ball in the hands of quarterback Mark Horne, who made an array of big plays, leading the Wildcats to their win.
Horne, who gained 120 yards on 19 carries, sealed the victory by breaking an option run 30 yards to end zone with 4:01 to play, and then pitched a two-point conversion pass to Troy Gates.
Horne and Gates also hooked for an 11-yard, play-action touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
On the option plays, I just read the defense. They were crashing the A gap so I just kept the ball, said Horne, who also had a pass breakup, a fumble recovery, a 43-yard punt to the OFA two-yard line and five tackles. This was the biggest win of my life and it was a great team effort. Everyone played very hard and we played good defense.
The Wildcats defense stymied the Blue Devils until they revived their cause with the 98-yard scoring drive.
Jordan McCormick (12 carries for 75 yards) anchored the drive rushing for 66 yards on seven carries, and Alex Farrell supplied 30 yards on two carries.
This was a tough loss, but there were some real positives out there today. We have to keep working on the little things, which lead to big things, OFA coach Matt Tessmer said, alluding to the offensive execution on the long drive.
We have to stay together as a team and keep working hard so this loss doesnt stop us.
Gouverneur coach Sean Devlin pointed to the teams collective effort.
This game was part of our building process, he said. Mark Horne gave us great leadership and made a lot of big plays, but this was a total team effort.
Everyone wearing a blue-and-gold uniform contributed to this victory.
Farrell finished with 30 yards on the ground, while catching two passes for 14 yards, and he made any number of solo stops in the secondary, collecting 11 tackles on defense.
Taylor Bouchard followed with six stops and Zach Sharpe and Nolan Rufa each added five.
Levi Tupper led Gouverneur with six tackles and Gates, Horne and McShane all finished with five.