Perhaps the Jamesville-DeWitt boys lacrosse team's 9-6 victory over Irondequoit in Wednesday night's state Class B semifinals at St. John Fisher College in suburban Rochester did not fit into the mold of other games the Red Rams have played in this post-season, as it mostly featured two strong defenses shutting each other down.
Still, J-D, boosted by Tim Edwards, McLaren Brady and a ferocious defense that shut out the Eagles most of the game, finished in front, despite Irondequoit's furious late rally, and by doing so extended its win streak to 43 and earned a shot at back-to-back state championships.
In that final Saturday at 1:30 at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium, J-D will face Garden City, from Long Island, who topped Yorktown 10-8 in the other semifinal. It's a rematch of last year's title game that the Rams won at Stony Brook.
The state semifinal against Irondequoit was also a rematch from the same round in 2010. The Eagles had waited 12 long months for payback, but would not get it.
After waiting out the dramatic end of the Class A state semifinal, where Ithaca beat Pittsford 6-5 in double overtime, the Red Rams went to work. Just 1:50 into the game, defender Davi Sacco took the ball at midfield and snaked through the entire Indians' defense to beat Eagles goalie Eric Fisher and put J-D in front.
Less than two minutes later, Irondequoit's Nick Doktor answered, tying it 1-1, but soon the game settled into its defensive pattern.
Due to the 90-plus degree heat, the Rams rotated in several midfielders, including Matt Kopp and Jake LaRussa, to keep Sacco and brothers Nick and Scott Firman from carrying too much of the load. It worked, as the Eagles would go more than 32 minutes of game time without scoring, until the early part of the fourth quarter.