POTSDAM — As the final seconds of the game ticked down Friday night and Mitchell Gallagher was taking a knee on the final play, both the Franklin Academy fans and players were celebrating.
The Huskies had avenged their lone loss of the season by handing the Potsdam Sandstoners their first loss 25-14 in the Section X Tier I title game.
“It was a total team effort,” Franklin Academy coach Greg Marshall said. “The defense played great. Mitch ran great. The kids have been talking about this since the loss. We changed a few things, and we had no turnovers.”
Franklin Academy had already claimed Section X Class B title by finishing first in the regular season and will now play Peru Saturday night in Massena.
Franklin Academy helped its cause by getting on the scoreboard first. Senior Tyrek Sneed continued his fine running of the second half the season with a 22-yard run, followed by a 15-yard gain by Gallagher that brought the ball to the Potsdam 22-yard line. Four plays later, Gallagher went in from the 4.
The Sandstoners then went on a nine-play, 75-yard drive with two key passes from Will Coleman to Shawn Clark, a 10-yarder and a 46-yarder. Coleman capped the drive with a 1-yard run.The first attempt for the 2-point conversion failed, but a penalty gave Potsdam another chance and Adam Lewis ran in for an 8-7 lead.
Late in the second quarter, the Huskies scored on a six-play drive. Among those plays were a 13-yard pass to Harvey Smith, a 19-yard run by John Picaro off a pitch, a 9-yard catch by Picaro and a 31-yard run by Gallagher down to the three. The senior quarterback went the rest of the distance on the next play as the offensive line continued to give him room to run. Malone led 13-8 at halftime.