All was going well for the Jordan-Elbridge football team. It had a double-digit lead on Syracuse Institute of Technology Central in Friday night's game at Corcoran High School, and appeared on its way to a 2-1 start.
But one big play changed the entire dynamic of the game in ITC's favor, and it rallied to beat J-E 27-19 in a battle of Eagle sides.
ITC is brand-new to the varsity ranks and beat Tully in its Sept. 3 varsity debut before squandering a second-half lead at Bishop Ludden in a 34-28 loss a week later. Now it faced J-E, coming off its own 19-6 win over Tully.
They traded scoring drives in the first quarter, J-E moving ahead when Leland Holmes scored on a 23-yard run, ITC countering with a long march ending in Jebron Thomas going one yard for the touchdown.
J-E then broke the 7-7 tie in the second quarter, Joe Gallager dropping back to pass and finding Logan Smart for a 23-yard TD strike. Though the conversion missed, J-E still took a 13-7 lead to halftime.
And it looked like the Eagles were set to pull away in the third period when Holmes, who finished with 132 yards on 19 carries, broke a 49-yard play that set up Mitch Cooper going five yards for the TD.
So it was 19-7 when J-E kicked it off to ITC's Saquan Dozier at the eight-yard line. Dozier found a hole, took off and didn't get caught, an 82-yard touchdown that, within seconds, cut J-E's edge to 19-13.
That single return energized ITC for the rest of the night. Thomas hit Dozier on an eight-yard TD pass and found Deiquan Ross for two points that gave ITC a 21-19 lead, and Dozier scored from five yards out for the only points of the fourth quarter.