Oct 07, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
No letdown for the Jamesville-DeWitt football team – and no let-up, either.
The Red Rams, already secure with the Class A American division regular-season championship, completed a perfect run through the league Friday night with a 35-0 shutout of Fowler at Corcoran High School’s turf field.
A week earlier, J-D, no. 14 in the state Class A rankings, had secured the league title when it beat Nottingham 25-6, a game that turned on the Red Rams forcing five turnovers, and a win that looked better after the Bulldogs rebounded to rout Carthage 45-6 a week later.
Any worries that J-D would not have the same level of play against Fowler, despite missing four starters (including Willie Walker, whose fumble return for a touchdown against Nottingham put his side ahead for good), dissipated as the Rams grabbed a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Fullback Rasheed Baker capped off the first drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge, and Josiah Williams converted from 11 yards out.
A fast, tough J-D defense shut down anything that Fowler tried to establish, and the margin steadily built up. Baker’s second TD, on a three-yard run, made it 21-0, where it stood at halftime.
All season long, the Rams have used two quarterbacks, Ryan Wright splitting time with freshman Jack Brotzki. But it was Wright that would put the game away in the second half, twice throwing TD passes to Taumeras Howard – a 14-yard connection in the third quarter and a 47-yard strike in the final period.
J-D, at 6-0 on the season, could complete an undefeated regular season if it prevails next Friday at Watertown, who has suffered three consecutive defeats after a 3-0 start. Game time is 7 p.m.
East Syracuse-Minoa, the reigning Class A champions, put up quite an effort in Friday night’s non-league clash with defending Class A champion Chittenango, but the Bears emerged with a 27-26 decision in this neighborhood clash.
It was Homecoming for the Bears, and that, plus the spotlight of a game televised by Time Warner Cable Sports, made for an electric atmosphere before it even kicked off.
And the game was pretty good, too, in doubt until Chittenango’s Josh Cretaro intercepted Sean Richardson’s pass in the final seconds, with ESM down one.
That it was so close was a tribute to ESM’s resilience. Even with Jose Sanchez’s first-quarter TD run, the Spartans trailed, 19-7, late in the half, unable to contain the Bears’ powerful ground attack, anchored by quarterback Devin Phelps as he scored on a three-yard run and Kyle Zimmer found the end zone twice.
ESM got back to 19-13 when K’Hari Flagg scored on a one-yard plunge just before halftime. Then the Spartans’ defense took over a while, blanking the Bears in the third quarter as, with Nick Lobello’s three-yard TD run, the visitors moved in front 20-19 going to the final period.
Phelps would not let his side lose, though. The senior quarterback tore down the left side on a 62-yard TD run early in the fourth, and threw a two-point pass to Cretaro on a fake PAT attempt. All told, Phelps ran for 218 yards on this night.
Trailing again 27-20, ESM moved down to the Bears’ eight-yard line, from where Richardson scrambled in with 6:51 to play. A penalty on the conversion gave the Spartans a chance to move ahead with two points, but Joe Gilona stopped Jeff McDuffie short of the goal line.
Chittenango took nearly five minutes off the clock on its next possession, moving to the Spartans’ five-yard line before ESM stood up and forced a turnover on downs with 1:56 left.
Richardson now had to throw it, and three times in those last two minutes he found Pat Bryant as ESM frantically moved it past midfield with 14.4 seconds left. But when All-State linebacker Aaron Jones rushed Richardson, he had to hurry his throw, and Cretaro grabbed it to seal the Bears’ win.
ESM would assure itself of third place in the American division if it beats visiting Fowler next Friday at 6:30 in the regular-season finale.