For much of Thursday night's game, the Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse-Minoa boys lacrosse team played on fairly even terms, each side making a fair share of good plays and mistakes.
Yet it was what took place in the first quarter that decided things, as the Red Rams (15-3) jumped all over the Spartans (10-7) and didn't get caught on its way to a 12-5 victory and the Class B regular-season championship.
Before the game was 90 seconds old, Eric DeJohn had already scored twice. He had a hat trick by the eight-minute mark, and when Joe Shepard made a 50-yard run to the net and scored 9:01 into the first quarter, J-D had a 6-0 edge.
Inevitably, the Rams started to relax, and ESM fared better once the second quarter started, but it never got closer than five the rest of the way.
DeJohn finished with six goals, more than the entire ESM roster. Bratek and Shepard both found the net twice, with Mac Keehfus adding a goal and two assists. Robby Wengert also scored, with Cam Stone and Jeff Sciera getting two assists apiece.
ESM saw Mike Cummings get two goals as Quadear Mike earned a goal and three assists. Tom Petterelli and Garrett Smith also scored, while Ken Cannon added an assist.
Both teams had played on Tuesday night, in vastly contrasting games. ESM outscored Fulton 16-12, while J-D had ripped through Chittenango 15-2.
The Spartans needed a big offensive surge in the first half to withstand all that Fulton was doing, taking a 9-7 lead to the break.
But in the third quarter, ESM blanked Fulton, earning five unanswered goals to stretch the margin to 14-7, enough to fend off a late Red Raiders push.
Cummings had seven goals, a new career mark. James Chayka often found him, earning four assists to go with his lone tally. Mike, Smith, Petterelli and Tom Rosaschi each got two goals.
Meanwhile, J-D was toying with Chittenango, bolting out to a 13-0 halftime lead before letting all the starters rest in the second half.
In his limited time on the field, DeJohn had five goals, with Bratek getting three goals. Keehfus scored twice, adding two assists, while Stone and Ed Kiesa each got a goal and three assists. Sciera, Rob Elbers and Colin Short also scored, with Wengert getting an assist.