For all that went wrong early this season, the Jamesville-DeWitt football team has, through its recent efforts, all but secured a return to the Section III Class A playoffs.
In fact, were it not for that touchdown Fowler pulled off in the final 90 seconds of the Kickoff Classic at the Carrier Dome Sept. 6, the Red Rams would be tied for first place in the Class A American division.
As it is, J-D is 2-1 in the league (and 2-2 overall) after Friday night's 14-7 conquest of Nottingham, another game where solid defense and just enough scoring proved to be enough.
The Rams hit first late in the first quarter, moving to Nottingham's 12-yard line before tailback Jalaan Kinsey took it to the end zone. Even with a missed extra point, J-D had a 7-0 lead.
And the margin grew in the second quarter. Again, the Rams moved to the Bulldogs' 12, and again it struck, quarterback David Sacco finding Demetrius Mitchell in the end zone. Kinsey's two-point conversion made it 14-0 going into halftime.
Deep into the second half, the shutout continued. Nottingham found it difficult as Eric Ormond's defense, stingy most of this season, continued to play at a high level.
Still, the Bulldogs got on the board when Antron Irby scored on a 14-yard run just before the third quarter ended, cutting the margin in half.
Many different times in the final period, Nottingham got the ball and a chance to tie or go in front. Each time, the Red Rams turned them back, leading to a second consecutive win.
J-D still has games left against the two teams (East Syracuse-Minoa and Fulton) ahead of them in the Class A American division.
And that includes this Friday's game, where the Rams will host its neighbors from ESM. Led by star back Dustin Moss, the Spartans, winners of the American division each of the last three years, are 3-1, coming off a 21-18 non-league win over Cartahge.