PLATTSBURGH — With the three Section VII football champions already determined, NYSPHSAA regional play will kick off this weekend.
Saranac Lake challenges No. 10 Ogdensburg Free Academy in Massena, while No. 20 Moriah and Tupper Lake with tangle in Class D at AuSable Valley.
Section VII will host the Class B regional semifinal with Beekmantown facing Franklin Academy at AuSable Valley Saturday.
Moriah (5-4) vs. Tupper Lake (4-5), AuSable Valley, 7 p.m.
Moriah reached the NYSPHSAA regional semifinals after claiming its second consecutive Section VII Class D championship.
Despite a 24-12 loss on the road during the regular season, the Vikings upended archrival Ticonderoga for the title at AuSable Valley 6-0.
Troy Welch ran for 113 yards on 21 caries, while Moriah’s rugged defense held the Sentinels to just 188 yards of offense.
Cole Gaddor leads the team on offense. A senior signal-caller, Gaddor has completed 68 of 128 pass attempts for 1,172 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Gaddor’s primary targets have been seniors Tyler Pratt and Rainier Garnica. Pratt has hauled in 20 catches for 473 yards and four touchdowns, while Garnica has added 22 receptions for 351 yards and six touchdowns.
Pratt has also been a force on the defensive side of the football as well, recording four interceptions.
The lone Class D representative from Section X, Tupper Lake has won two of its last three games, outscoring its opponents 224-223 in nine games.
The Lumberjacks dropped their regional semifinal game to the Vikings last year 12-7.
Senior quarterback Morgan Stevens has thrown the ball well, tossing 98 completions on 192 pass attempts for 1,326 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Stevens has frequently connected with senior Mitch Keniston (37-622), senior Cody LaPierre (21-203) and junior Roger Delair (21-197).
Senior Jeremy Roussel has led the ground attack, totaling 208 carries for 985 yards.
Saranac Lake (5-4) vs. Ogdensburg Free Academy (8-1), Massena High School, 7 p.m.
After losing to Saranac at Ken Wilson Field for the first time in program history, Saranac Lake defeated the Chiefs 30-28 for the Class C title last week.
With the two-point win, the Red Storm collected their fourth consecutive Section VII Class C championship.
Saranac Lake is led on offense by sophomore quarterback Tristan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has thrown for 879 yards and 12 touchdowns on 81 completions.
Dylan Gunther has made significant contributions at wide receiver, totaling 34 catches for 377 yards and five touchdowns. Ty Marmion has added 14 catches for 180 yards and two scores.
Lance Ackerson, who did not play in the Section VII title game, has 547 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 93 carries.
After losing to Class C counterpart Potsdam 44-14 in Week 5, the Blue Devils knocked off the previously unbeaten Sandstoners 28-26 in overtime of the Section X Class C title game.
Offensively, Jordan McCormick leads Ogdensburg with 789 rushing yards on 105 carries.
Josh Liebstein is 49-of-79 through the air for 626 yards and 12 touchdowns. Liebstein, a dual-threat quarterback, also leads the team with 10 rushing touchdowns.
Wide receivers Jon Rogers (13-267), Jon Tayler (21-262) and Nick Sweeney (19-192) have combined for 721 receiving yards on 53 catches.
The Blue Devils have outscored their opponents 293-190.
Beekmantown (5-4) vs. Franklin Academy (5-4), AuSable Valley, 1 p.m.
Beekmantown got revenge on rival Peru by upsetting the Indians for the Section VII Class B championship 33-28.
Junior Justin Stevens accumulated 108 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns en route to the win.
The Eagles have maintained a well-balanced attack on offense, rushing for 1,632 yards and passing for 999 yards on the year.
Senior signal-caller Jacob Remchuk leads the team offensively. Remchuk is one passing yard short of becoming the second Beekmantown quarterback to throw for over 1,000 yards in a single season since 1998.
Remchuk’s primary targets are seniors Cameron Garceau (20-413-5TD) and Kyle Dupigny (9-162-4TD). The two have combined for over 57 percent of the team’s receiving yards.
Senior Devin Fessette and Stevens have shown the way on the ground. Fessette has racked up 642 yards and eight touchdowns. Stevens has 584 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 70 carries, good for an 8.3 yards-per-carry average.
Franklin Academy drubbed second-seeded Gouverneur in the Section X Class B championship 27-7 and has scored 171 points while allowing 176.
The Huskies are led on offense by running back Zach Raymond, who has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark. Raymond has racked up 764 of his 1,020 yards in his last four games.
Quarterback Camron Gallagher is 47-for-90 with 606 yards on six touchdowns and four interceptions. All six of Gallagher’s touchdowns have occurred in Franklin Academy’s last four games.
Gallagher’s leading receivers are Raymond (14-270) and Jordan Yando (20-271).
Raymond leads the team with 14 total touchdowns.
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