TUPPER LAKE - Tupper Lake's football team battled hard but fell prey to a strong Ogdensburg running attack in a 45-20 setback to the Blue Devils Friday at Frank Tice Field.
Playing without a number of injured players, the Lumberjacks were especially hampered on defense, as the visiting Blue Devils' ground game proved to nearly unstoppable. They piled up 385 yards rushing and saw four different backs combine to run for seven touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Nate Angel had a huge night for Ogdensburg, rushing for 228 yards and three touchdowns on just a dozen carries. Jordan McCormick also ran for two Blue Devils scores and Zach Sharpe and backup tailback Hunter Planty also each ran for a touchdown.
Tupper Lake senior tailback Tanner Charland barrels over an Ogdensburg defender to pick up a first down during the fourth quarter of Friday’s home game. The Blue Devils got the better of the Lumberjacks, with a final score of 45-20.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
The Lumberjacks got the game off to a great start. They opened with the ball at their own 33 yard line and took just three plays to reach the end zone. On the first snap of the game, fullback Elliot Kerst ripped off a 31-yard run, and then picked up three more yards on the next play. Quarterback Mitch Keniston then capped off the march with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Cody LaPierre in the corner of the end zone. Ian Gillis followed with the conversion kick and the 'Jacks were up 7-0 just 1:27 into the game.
But guided by Angel and a solid offensive line, Ogdensburg turned things around in a hurry. The Blue Devils scored on their first four possessions of the game, with Angel getting his team started with a 14-yard touchdown run to cut Tupper Lake's edge to 7-6. Zach Sharpe followed with a big defensive play for the Blue Devils on the Lumberjacks second possession when he picked off Keniston's second pass attempt of the game, giving the Blue Devils the ball at Tupper Lake's 16-yard line. On the next play, McCormick reached the end zone on a run, and he added his second touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run that gave the Blue Devils a 19-7 edge with 2:34 left in the first quarter.
Ogdensburg scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter, with Sharpe crossing the goal on a 14-yard run on the third play of the period and Angel reaching the end zone from the 13 with 2:16 remaining in the half.
The Blue Devils held a 32-7 edge at intermission and upped their advantage to 39-7 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Angel in the third period.
Tupper Lake found some offense in the fourth quarter as Brock Tarbox hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass from Keniston and Tanner Charland tacked on another touchdown on a 1-yard run with 3:58 remaining, which cut Ogdensburg's lead to 39-20. The Blue Devils rounded out the scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run by Farrell, the visitors' back-up quarterback.
Tupper Lake entered the game with a pretty battered lineup, with the 'Jacks latest casualty senior Tyler Minogue, the team's leading rusher and a key player on defense. He was lost for the season a week ago with a broken collarbone. And as the game wore on, more players headed to the Lumberjacks sideline with injures, although none were serious.
"We started off the season with 24 players on the team, and injuries have been taking their toll," Tupper Lake head coach Dennis Klossner said. "We had 18 dressed for this game, and finished with 16, but no matter who is on the field, we battle. I thought Elliot Kerst, Tanner Charland and Keegan Bombard played in the backfield, and our O- and D-lines progressed nicely as the game went on.
"Ogdensburg did a nice job running the ball," Klossner added. "They were pulling two blockers, they were getting bodies on bodies, and that gave us problems early on. Their quarterback did a great job. He's a patient runner."
The Lumberjacks fell to 1-5 with the setback, while Ogdensburg improved to 4-2 in Section X play with the win. Blue Devils coach Matt Tessmer said he was pleased with his team's performance, and was also impressed with the effort the outmanned Lumberjacks came up with.
"Our line played really well tonight and the guys ran hard," Tessmer said. "We got a big lead, but there was no quit in those Tupper Lake boys."
The Blue Devils ran the ball 31 times for 385 yards. McCormick was the next top ground gainer for the winners behind Angel, picking up 79 yards on eight carries. Sharpe followed with 71 yards on seven attempts. The Lumberjacks runners gained 165 yards on 39 runs, with Keniston leading the way with 49 yard on nine carries. Charland finished with 42 yards on 15 rushes, and Kerst added 45 yards on eight runs before leaving in the second half.
Tupper Lake's next game in on the road Saturday, Oct. 13 at Saint Lawrence Central.
Ogdensburg 45, Tupper Lake 20
TL - LaPierre 33 pass from Keniston (Gillis kick), 1:27
O - Angel 14 run (Kick failed), 2:24
O - McCormick 16 run (Pass failed), 4:03
O - McCormick 5 run (Liebstein kick), 9:26
O - Sharpe 14 run (Kick failed), :36
O - Angel 13 run (Liebstein kick), 9:44
O - Angel 4 run (Liebstein kick), 6:54
TL - Tarbox 26 pass from Keniston (Gillis kick), 1:05
TL - Charland 1 run (Run failed), 7:02
O - Planty 5 run (Kick blocked), 9:52
Ogdensburg - Angel 12-228 3TDs, Sharpe 7-71 TD, McCormick 8-79 2TDs, Planty 3-10 TD, Farrell 1-(-3). Totals: 31-385 7TDs.
Tupper Lake - Kerst 8-45, Charland 15-42 TD, Keniston 9-49, Bombard 6-33, Tarbox 1-(-4). Totals: 39-165 TD.
Ogdensburg - Angel 3-7-0-34.
Tupper Lake - Keniston 8-25-1-109 2TDs.
Ogdensburg - Lebstein 3-34.
Tupper Lake - LaPierre 2-39 TD, Kerst 2-18, Larson 2-21, Tarbox 2-31
Ogdensburg - Sharpe