DeWitt Jamesville-Dewitt and West Genesee both put on a display of quality boys lacrosse Saturday afternoon, but there could only be one winner in this annual battle of powerhouse programs.
And it proved to be the Red Rams, again, as it continually fought off the Wildcats' second-half rallies to emerge victorious, 13-11. It marked the third straight year J-D has won in this series.
J-D (6-2) also handed WG (8-1) its first loss, a mere two days after a win over Oswego gave long-time Wildcat head coach Mike Messere his 748th career victory, setting a new national record.
“It’s always nice to beat them, no doubt about it,” Red Rams coach Jamie Archer said. “It’s always a measuring stick every year. This is a rivalry we’ve developed. It’s good to come out with a win.”
J-D started the quickest, taking a 3-1 lead after one quarter, but WG turned it around in the second stanza, scoring three successive goals to snare a 4-3 edge.
Red Rams attacker Jeff Edwards then scored what his coach deemed a “huge” goal to tie the game, 4-4, just before halftime.
“That got us back on track,” Edwards said.
The Rams never trailed again, but not for lack of Wildcat effort. WG shook off every punch in the gut and fought back.
When J-D turned a 5-5 third quarter game into a 9-5 contest in rapid-fire fashion, it didn’t faze the visitors, who pulled back within 9-8 minutes later.
However, J-D’s Deke Burns scored the final goal of the third quarter to make it 10-8, beginning a pattern of the teams trading goals for much of the fourth quarter. It concluded when Griffin Feiner scored the game’s final goal, a man-advantage tally with 1:27 left.
Messere said his team had to play better to topple a team of the Red Rams' quality.