Osbourne, Ludden rallies past Adirondack

Omar Osbourne sprinted toward the end zone, which wasn't surprising. After all, Osbourne had scored 17 previous touchdowns this fall for the unbeaten Bishop Ludden football team.

The difference here was that, for the first time this fall, Osbourne had to come up big - for otherwise, the Gaelic Knights' quest for a second Section III Class C title in three years might be over.

Instead, Ludden lives, having fought past the Adirondack Wildcats 35-32 in a dramatic Class C North/West semifinal Friday night in Geddes.

Four times in the fourth quarter alone, the lead changed hands, Ludden not inching in front for good until Osbourne made that 55-yard scoring sprint with 4:30 to play.

Thanks mainly to Osbourne's 239 yards on 15 carries, the Gaelic Knights (8-0) will meet fellow unbeaten General Brown in the C North/West final this Friday at 8 p.m. at Central Square.

This is getting to be a habit for Ludden, who now has eliminated Adirondack three straight years, though this third chapter may have proved the toughest of all.

With wind and rain slicing through Geddes, the sense was that Ludden had to run - and that got confirmed by the way the Wildcats' defense dealt with Gaelic Knights quarterback John Rooney.

For the first time all season, Rooney did not throw a TD pass. Instead, he and his fellow Ludden backs stuck with the ground game, even when Adirondack got off to a terrific start.

Neither side scored until the second quarter - but the Wildcats broke through when, early in that frame, Andre Adkins ran 32 yards for a TD. Moments later, Adirondack got it back near Ludden's goal line, and Jesse Sullivan scored from eight yards out.

Badly needing a spark, Ludden got it from Osbourne, who took a handoff on his own 38-yard line and tore through the Wildcats defenders 62 yards for his team's first points of the night. It wouldn't be the last time Osbourne would offer a timely score.

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