Apr. 24—CLINTONVILLE — AuSable Valley gave Section X’s Ogdensburg Free Academy its best shot, but the Blue Devils held off the Patriots.
AuSable Valley cut what was a 12-point deficit to four with 15.8 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, but due to the different rules set in place for this abbreviated season, which include no kickoffs or contact on punts, OFA was able to take a knee at its own 30 and run out the rest of the clock and secure a 22-18 victory in a non-conference matchup.
Tristan Lovely threw for two touchdowns and 118 yards to pace the Blue Devils, and Drew Costello powered the ground attack with 82 yards and a score.
For the Patriots, Eli Douglas (120) and Nate Doner (102) combined for 222 rushing yards and both accounted for one touchdown.
“They’re tough kids who don’t give up,” AuSable Valley coach Kyle Nolan said. “They are all about football. Everything was up in the air this season, and they never quit. I am very proud they kept going because they could have quit in this one.”
The Patriots got out to a nice start when Jesse McLean and a swarm of AuSable Valley tacklers brought down OFA’s Adam Calton in the end zone for a safety midway through the first quarter.
Both teams struggled a bit at first, but the Blue Devils found a groove in the second quarter and took an 8-2 lead with 6:41 to go after Lovely hit Costello in the end zone four a 25-yard touchdown.
“OFA is a good team that is well disciplined,” Nolan said. “They play their responsibilities well. It’s just the little things of not having a lot of practice time. We had some offside penalties and just some mental mistakes that you can’t have and expect to pull ahead and win. That’s on the coaching staff, and we just have to work better and get better.”
The Blue Devils opened up a bigger lead when Costello scored on a 10-yard scamper with 7:30 to go in the third, but the Patriots answered.
Douglas swept to the outside and dashed for a 22-yard trip to the end zone a bit over two minutes later to cut AuSable Valley’s deficit to 16-10.
“That just shows we play AuSable Valley football,” Douglas said. “We never give up. You can beat us down, but you are never going to beat us. You can outscore us, but we are going to give you everything we got until the last second. We showed that tonight.”
OFA continued to hold on to the momentum when Lovely connected with Tristan Richardson for a 15-yard hookup just seven seconds after the fourth quarter started.
The Patriots had a couple drives stall after that but finished the game with a bang thanks to a 10-play, 72-yard drive that Doner capped off with an easy 1-yard score in the final seconds of regulation.
“They work hard every day in practice, and there is a lot of heart and unity,” Nolan said. “They did not get the win, but they showed some heart with that drive at the end.”
AuSable Valley will look to finish off its season with a win when it hosts Peru at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 1.
“I expect Peru to be Peru,” Nolan said. “They will be ready to play, and they will always be a tough opponent, and we will do our best to prepare for them and come out with the same effort we put in this week.”
But for now, the Patriots will regroup and continue enjoying this strange spring season. Even though the outcome was not the desired result, AuSable Valley appreciates the opportunity to play.
“It’s amazing to be playing,” Douglas said. “No other words needed. It’s just amazing.”
Ogdensburg 22, AuSable Valley 18
OFA 0 8 8 6 — 22
AuSable 2 0 8 8 — 18
AVCS- McLean tackles Calton (Safety), 7:26
OFA- Costello pass from Lovely (McIntyre from Lovely), 6:41.
OFA- Costello 10 run (Richardson run), 7:30.
AVCS- Douglas 22 run (Furnia pass from Douglas), 5:11.
OFA- Richardson pass from Lovely (Pass fails), 11:53.
AVCS- Doner 1 run (Douglas run), 15.6.
OFA- Costello 9-82 (TD), Richardson 9-55, Lovely 8-26, Polniak 1-4, Calton 6-3, McIntyre 1-3. Totals- 34-173 (TD).
AVCS- Douglas 12-120 (TD), Doner 23-102 (TD), Furnia 3-15, Dubay 2-(-3), Pray 1-(-2). Totals: 41-232 (2TD).
OFA- Lovely 9-16-2-114 (2TD), Polniak 0-2-0-0, Calton 0-1-0-0. Totals: 6-19-2-114.
AVCS- Douglas 3-15-1-56, Furnia 0-1-1-0. Totals: 3-16-56.
OFA- McIntyre 3-50, Costello 2-36 (TD), Richardson 4-28 (TD).
AVCS- Furnia 1-39, Doner 2-17.
OFA- Milsap, Calton.
AVCS- Doner, Depo.
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