Matt Rogers threw his longest pass of the season, 42 yards to Chris Davis, to set up a six-yard TD strike to Davis. Later in the period, Rogers led another march and went the final yard for the score. A missed PAT left the Gaelic Knights down 28-27 with one quarter left.
Ludden's defense forced a punt that put the Gaelic Knights in prime scoring position. ITC forced a fourth-down-and-20 on the Eagles' 26, but Davis delivered by finding a hole, then speeding all the way to the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with less than seven minutes left.
ITC would get two more possessions, yet convert on neither of them as Ludden held on. At 1-1, the Gaelic Knights host unbeaten Altmar-Parish-Williamstown this Friday at 7 p.m. The Rebels have outscored its first two opponents by a combined 86-20.
While all this was going on, Jordan-Elbridge found itself at Tully making the same kind of turnaround and earning a 19-6 victory over the Black Knights.
Coming off a 27-0 loss to Cato-Meridian the week before, the Eagles used a single play to spark its revival, then played first-rate defense the rest of the night.
Trailing 6-0 after Ryan Chilcoat's four-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, J-E awaited the kickoff. It was a short one - and Leland Holmes, taking it on his own 40-yard line, sped all the way to the end zone for a TD. Joe Gallager's extra point gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead.
Even though neither side would score again in the first half, the Eagles' defense began to take hold, stuffing Tully every time it got the ball.
And it would continue in the second half as Logan Smart, with 12 tackles (seven of them solo), led the way. Josh Matusek had nine tackles, while Frank Bratkowiak gained seven tackles. Though J-E did not force a turnover, it kept forcing Tully to give the ball back.
Eventually, that would lead to an Eagle getaway. Nick Berwind's 10-yard TD run in the third quarter made it 13-6, and another drive in the final period led to Brennen Barrigar's clinching three-yard scoring run.
J-E pounded it out on the ground for 282 yards overall. Berwind had 95 of those yards on 19 carries, while Barrigar got 65 yards, Holmes 57 yards and Mike Killeen 46 yards.
Now J-E will get its shot at ITC, the two sets of Eagles meeting next Friday at Corcoran High School's turf field on Syracuse's South Side. Game time is 6 p.m.