While it was nice for the East Syracuse-Minoa football team to polish off a perfect regular season at the expense of its neighbors, it would be even nicer if the Spartans healed a year-old wound once the Section III Class A playoffs got underway.
In the first part of that equation, ESM rode a career effort from running back Dustin Moss to a 48-28 victory over Jamesville-DeWitt at Spartan Stadium on Senior Night.
This set up the second part of the equation -- a battle this Friday between ESM and New Hartford in the opening round of the Class A playoffs, a game for which ESM should have no trouble getting motivated for.
Twelve months ago, in this exact same round, ESM, following a run to the Class A American division regular-season title, met those other Spartans in this exact same round. And it got beat, 20-14, in a game where New Hartford took full advantage of ESM's early mistakes and withstood a late rally to spring the upset.
Now New Hartford shows up with a 4-3 record (better than the 3-4 mark it sported in 2007) and a spirited attack anchored by running back Joey Carcone, who has 1,086 yards this season. Keeping Carcone contained is critical if ESM wants payback for its '07 debacle.
Of course, ESM has its own big-time runner that can, if necessary, take over a game. Moss certainly did so against J-D, setting a new personal standard with 272 yards on 21 carries, giving him 1,163 yards this fall.
The 48-28 score does not reflect how much the Spartans controlled this game, as it built a 48-7 edge before the Red Rams staged a futile fourth-quarter comeback.
ESM got on the board first with quarterback Ben Kreischer scoring on a five-yard run in the opening period. Then it was Moss's turn, getting the first of his two touchdowns on an eight-yard run late in that period.