High school football: Fonda-Fultonville shows No. 1 credentials in stopping Gouverneur

Nov. 18—OGDENSBURG — A cold rain let up late in the first quarter at Ogdensburg Free Academy on Friday in a state Class C quarterfinal game between top-ranked Fonda-Fultonville of Section 2 and Section 10's Gouverneur.

But Fonda-Fultonville (12-1) was relentless with its control of the football, the clock and the scoreboard, impressively grinding out a 22-0 victory and the first state football semifinal berth in school history, at Middletown High School.

"The were a very impressive team, big and strong and they ran the ball very well. And they were a class act all the way; before, during and after the game. I hope they go all the way," said Gouverneur coach Sean Devlin after his Wildcats played without a fumble or an interception in finishing the season at 8-2.

"But we did a lot of good things today. We forced them to punt a few times and had some drives where we were stopped on downs deep," he added

On their first possession, the Wildcats were stopped at the Braves' 11 in a drive sustained by 12-yard and 14-yard quarterback keepers by Holden Stowell. Fonda-Fultonville answered with an 89-yard march, capped by a one-yard run by Peyton Webber.

In the second quarter the Braves traveled 80 yards to the end zone with Jose Vargas taking the ball the last 13 yards for the first of two touchdowns. Smooth freshman quarterback Keegan Croucher followed, pitching a two-point conversion pass to Derek Downing for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 halftime lead.

The Section 2 champions took control of the game in the third quarter when Vargas (119 yards), who combined in an ultra efficient running package with Colin Pickering (15-124), capped Fonda-Fultonville's first possession with a five-yard scoring run at 7:42 followed by a Mason Smith conversion keeper.

The Braves' defense a stymied a Wildcats' comeback effort with a fourth down stop at their own 19 and then navigated a drive that stalled at Gouverneur's 11 but whittled the game-time to 5:07.

"This team can do everything. We were worried about the weather and we knew we could run so we ran the ball tonight," said Fonda-Fultonville coach Mike Mancini.

Stowell led Gouverneur's rushing effort with 43 yards and but some untimely drops complicated his passing efforts, which produced 67 yards, and the Wildcats' biggest gain of the day with a 24-yard reception by Connor Witherell.