Someday, somewhere, the East Syracuse-Minoa football team will finally beat New Hartford - but it didn't happen on Friday night.
In this latest clash of Spartan gridiron powers, ESM produced plenty on the offensive side, yet still could not keep up as host New Hartford came out on top 46-34.
Not since 2000 has ESM won in this series, which includes eliminations in each of the last three Section III Class A playoffs - the quarterfinals in 2007 and 2008, the semifinals in 2009.
With the departure of long-time New Hartford nemeses like Joe Carcone and Anthony Acevedo, ESM figured that it had a better chance this time, and it did get closer before falling short. Again.
Tyler Johnson got ESM on the board with a 16-yard scoring pass to Connor Haynes, and Jeff McDuffie's extra point allowed the visitors to take a 7-6 lead to the second quarter.
ESM kept on producing, as Johnson's second TD pass went to Bobby Campese and covered eight yards, while McDuffie showed his big-play capability by taking off on a 78-yard scoring run. That, combined with Buddy Frigon catching a two-point pass from Johnson, tied the game 22-22 going into halftime.
No matter what it tried, though, ESM's defense could not contain New Hartford's unique spread offense that uses direct snaps and runs most of the time. New Hartford finished with 322 rushing yards, with Nick Levanti (147 yards) and Vinny Servadio (132 yards) both breaking the century mark and combining for five TDs.
Early in the fourth quarter, trailing 30-22, ESM pulled closer when Jordan Barton scored on an eight-yard run, but missed the tying two-point try, and would not get so close again.
McDuffie contributed one more burst of magic with an 80-yard TD sprint. However, that came in between a pair of New Hartford drives that led to Servadio TD runs and two-point conversions.