Sep 20, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Friday marked the commencement of Class A American division play, with the East Syracuse-Minoa and Jamesville-DeWitt football teams both involved in thrillers.
The Spartans needed a late push at Fulton to register a 23-20 victory over the Red Raiders, while the Red Rams battled Cortland into the fourth quarter, but lost to the Purple Tigers 36-26.
ESM traveled to Fulton’s brand-new artificial turf field trying to avenge last year’s defeat to the Red Raiders, who had given up 106 points in season-opening losses to Indian River and Whitesboro.
Once again, though, ESM and Fulton would produce a tense classic. Quarterback Tyler Johnson’s two-yard plunge put the Spartans ahead 6-0 in the first quarter, but the Red Raiders answered with its own drive as Bryan Benton scored from nine yards out and Max Fobes made the extra point.
Both defenses settled down in the second quarter. The Spartans notched the only scoring drive, Jeff McDuffie atoning for a missed extra point by belting a 33-yard field goal, which put ESM up 9-7 at the break.
They would go back and forth in the second half. Fulton went up 13-9 in the third period as Brett Williams found Fobes on a 13-yard scoring strike, but the Spartans’ deficit didn’t last long.
Johnson used his passing (he was 13-for-26 for 161 yards) to set up his own one-yard TD sneak early in the fourth quarter as ESM led 16-14, only to have Williams break loose for a 49-yard TD run in response.
Now trailing 20-16, the Spartans patiently put together one more scoring drive as Jordan Barton continued to build his numbers. Overall, Barton had 120 yards on 21 carries, and his one-yard plunge into the end zone proved to be the winning touchdown.
Earlier that afternoon, J-D provided plenty of entertainment and points in its home opener against Cortland, yet could not sustain its good work in the second half.
Ahkeen Williams twice scored in the first half on one-yard runs as the Red Rams raced out to a 12-0 lead. Cortland answered with a big play as, after Williams’ second TD, Jon Prior returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a score.
Not fazed by this, Williams led another scoring drive, and when Jake LaRussa found the end zone from five yards out, J-D had an 18-6 halftime lead.
But the Rams went quiet in the third quarter and, during that crucial stretch, the Purple Tigers twice found the end zone as Prior and Brian Strough scored on short runs.
Now trailing 20-18, J-D briefly regained the lead early in the fourth quarter as Alex Hatem, who had a team-high 12 tackles on the defensive side, caught a 21-yard TD pass from Williams and Curtis Walker ran in for two points.
Once again, the Rams could not hold on. Cortland went ahead for good on Devin Darrow’s 12-yard TD pass to Justin Hogan, then clinched it minutes later when Darrow scored on a two-yard sneak.
Williams’ all-around effort included 100 rushing yards on 20 carries, plus 94 yards through the air as Walker also broke the 100-yard mark on the ground – 104, to be exact.
Now J-D (0-3) will seek its first win of the season at ESM (2-1) as the two neighbors gather on the Spartans’ home turf next Friday for a 6:30 kickoff.