Even with some banged-up midfielders, and even in the face of a ferocious challenge from the north country, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys lacrosse team has every intention on hanging on to the Section III and state Class B crowns that it currently holds.
In what amounted to a possible preview of the June 4 Class B final at Coyne Field, the Red Rams went up against Carthage Monday night and, in a seesaw battle, had the final say as it beat the Comets 11-10.
It marked just the second time Carthage had been beaten this season (Canton was the other), and it came despite the fact that the Rams were far from healthy.
John Clark, Jake Bratek and Mac Keefus all were injured or ill, yet still logged significant minutes against a Carthage squad loaded with talent all over the field, especially on its potent front line.
Unfazed by this, J-D shook off a quick 2-1 deficit in the first quarter with some firepower of its own, scoring three times in a span of 40 seconds. By the early part of the second period, the Rams' margin had grown to 5-2, the largest either team would hold all night.
Carthage answered with its own flurry -- three goals in less than two minutes -- to square it at 5-5, and so the tug-of-war commenced that would consume the rest of the night.
Rob Grimm's goal two minutes before halftime put the Comets in front, 6-5, and It grew to 7-5 in the third quarter as, at one point, J-D went more than 17 minutes without scoring.
Still, the defense of Alex Michalenko, Joe Daddario and Jared Nies, plus the solid work of goalie Alex Jorgensen, made sure that the Comets didn't get away. And once Jeff Vetter and Mike Edwards scored within a minute of each other to tie it, 7-7, the Rams could start breathing again.