East Syracuse One quarter of football remained in Friday night's game at Fulton, and Jamesville-DeWitt's followers feared that a promising start to the 2011 season would start to dissipate, just like so many hopes in so many seasons past.
But these Red Rams rose up, just in time, and with big plays on both sides of the ball worked its way to a 16-12 victory over the Red Raiders to move to 3-0, already matching its win total from 2010 in the process.
J-D is not the only unbeaten local side in the Class A American division. East Syracuse-Minoa, with much more success in its recent past, made it three in a row in Friday's home opener at Spartan Stadium, cruising past Fowler 53-6.
Given the way the Red Rams dominated both of its first two games against Fowler and New Hartford (winning by a combined 92-12 margin), it was expected that Fulton, mired at 0-2 and having allowed 117 points in those defeats, would also get easily conquered.
That didn't prove the case. Playing, by far, its best football of the season, the Red Raiders bolted ahead 12-0 by the second quarter as Matt Pollock scored on runs of 17 and 50 yards.
Absorbing all this, J-D started to assert itself late in the half, putting together a scoring dive that ended with fullback Jake LaRussa scoring on a one-yard run.
Still, the Rams still trailed, 12-7, at the break, and neither side would score in the third quarter. Having not faced a real late-game test yet, J-D would save its best work for the final period.
First, it was the Rams' defense forcing a safety on Fulton to slice the margin to 12-9. Then it got the ball back and, with another steady march using its option attack, J-D again got to the Red Raiders' one-yard line, from where Eric Thompson dove in for the go-ahead score.