In some way, the East Syracuse-Minoa boys lacrosse team hoped that Saturday night's Section III Class B semifinal against Jamesville-DeWitt at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium would be different.
Beaten badly by the undefeated, state no. 1-ranked Red Rams in both of their previous meetings, the Spartans took some consolation from the fact that, this time around, J-D didn't have Jake Bratek, out for the season with a broken collarbone.
The rest of the Rams showed up, though, and ESM still couldn't come close as J-D claimed a 15-6 victory and advanced to face Auburn in Wednesday night's Class B championship game.
ESM was active on the offensive end in the first quarter, putting three shots past Rams goalie Dan DiStefano. However, J-D doubled that output, so it still came out on top.
The Spartans' chances started to dim in the second period, when it was unable to get on the board as, gradually, J-D stretched out that lead to 10-3.
Even though the rest of the game was played on fairly even terms, the Rams had proved its point, with Eric DeJohn and Cam Stone providing most of the damage.
DeJohn, with six goals, topped ESM by himself, and Stone kept supplying the ball to him on his way to a new career mark of eight assists.
Pete Goss, Tim Edwards and Ed Kiesa offered the help, each scoring twice as Joe Shepard, Jordan Evans and Deke Burns got one goal apiece and DeJohn added an assist.
On ESM's side, Garrett Smith, whose overtime goal eliminated Whitesboro in the opening round, again had three goals, while Mike Cummings had a goal and two assists. Ken Cannon and Bobby Campese had the other goals, with Quadear Mike adding an assist. Chris Rosso had 11 saves.
J-D now draws Auburn, who won a draining overtime battle over Carthage 7-6 in the other semifinal as Connor Entenmann picked up the game-winner. The Maroons played in the CNY Counties League during the regular season, but moved down to Class B for the playoffs due to smaller enrollment.