Oct 16, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Fast finishes to the regular season give both the East Syracuse-Minoa and Jamesville-DeWitt football team a reason to think that it could make some serious noise in the upcoming Section III Class A playoffs.
The Spartans clinched a first-round home game on Friday when Tyler Johnson accounted for six touchdowns – four on the ground, two through the air – in a 49-20 victory over the Mexico Tigers at ESM Stadium.
Meanwhile, in Oswego, the Red Rams, who started 0-4, notched its third consecutive victory as it gave up the first points of the night at Oswego, then dominated the rest of the game in a 46-6 drubbing of the Buccaneers.
ESM knew, going into its game, that first place in the Class A American division was out of reach thanks to Cortland’s 30-22 win over Mexico last Saturday. Still, second place could be attained – and thanks to Johnson and his offensive mates, the Spartans went out and got it against Mexico, ignoring the brutal conditions to record its highest point total of the season and improve its mark to 5-2.
Patient at the start, the Spartans had just one scoring drive in the first quarter, Johnson capping it off with a one-yard touchdown plunge as Jeff McDuffie handled the two-point conversion and ESM seized an 8-0 lead.
Mexico briefly cut the margin to 8-6 on Ray Eastman’s 10-yard TD run early in the second quarter, but ESM countered with a pair of scoring drives, mostly staying on the ground. McDuffie converted from three yards out and, after Johnson scored again from the one, he hit Buddy Frigon on a two-point pass, expanding the Spartans’ lead to 22-6 going into halftime.
But it really got settled in the third quarter, thanks to 20 unanswered points. From midfield, the Tigers expected another run – but Johnson instead threw deep and found Bobby Campese for a 50-yard TD pass. As if that wasn’t enough, on the Spartans’ next drive Johnson again found Campese in the end zone from 27 yards out, and he capped the period with a two-yard scoring run that made it 42-6.
Though Mexico would tack on a pair of TDs in the fourth quarter, Johnson provided an exclamation point to his night by going 16 yards for yet another score late in the game. Not to be forgotten, McDuffie finished with 92 rushing yards on 15 carries.
J-D’s trip to Oswego, where the rain, wind and cold temperatures got augmented by a grass field that quickly turned to mud, began on a rough note. The Buccaneers took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter with a quick scoring drive, capped by Josh McRae’s four-yard run.
Before the period was done, though, the Red Rams had taken the lead, thanks to Ahkeen Williams’ one-yard TD run and Curtis Walker slamming in for two points, and the rest of the night would prove just as pleasant.
Williams was quite versatile on this night, running for 127 yards on 13 carries. In the second quarter, Williams ran five yards for one score, then struck for a big play just before the break when he threw a 44-yard TD pass to Taumeras Howard.
Fired up by that play, and now leading 20-6, J-D would do just what ESM did to Oswego, getting 20 straight points in the third quarter. And that meant more big plays, as Amani Jackson broke loose for a 52-yard TD run and Williams, from his own 33-yard line, took off through the Bucs’ porous defense and didn’t stop until he was in the end zone 67 yards later. Walker, who had 78 yards on 10 carries, finished off J-D’s latest win by twice scoring in the late going, on runs of 24 yards.
Now the task toughens for J-D, who finished third in the American division – and is lined up to visit Whitesboro, who took second in the Class A National division, in the first round of the sectional playoffs next Friday night. The defending sectional champion Warriors went 6-1 this season, its only loss a 14-13 defeat to eventual league champion Indian River. The winner gets Cortland or Camden in the semifinals.
As for ESM, it will get to play once more on home turf that same Friday when it meets Watertown in the opening round, the Cyclones coming off a 44-7 romp over Camden where running back Tevion Cappe gained 391 yards and five touchdowns. A win here, and the Spartans draw Indian River or Mexico in the semifinals.