Jamesville-DeWitt running back Rasheed Baker (44) uses a stiff arm to fend off Watertown's Shyheim Gadson (12) in Thursday night's Class A playoff game. Baker ran for 164 yards on 20 carries in the Red Rams' 49-0 victory over the Cyclones.
DeWitt Only one aspect of Jamesville DeWitt’s thrashing of Watertown Thursday night in the opening round of the Section III Class A football playoffs did not go as planned.
Speaking to his team in the locker room before the game, J-D head coach Eric Ormond gave his team a history lesson. That night’s game would be the last played on J-D’s original grass field, so Ormond brought in a chunk of turf and told J-D football stories from the days when legendary coaches Bill Brown and Carl Bjork manned the sidelines.
Ormond also let Joe Pagano, a member of the undefeated 1965 team, say a few words.
“It was a great moment,” Ormond said. “It was really special to have him here.”
But when Ormond instructed his Red Rams captains to give the honorary gave ball to Pagano after the game, he discovered Pagano had left at halftime.
Perhaps if the Red Rams had not already built an insurmountable 27-0 lead at the break—holding the Cyclones to just one first down and 32 yards of net offense on nine drives — the longtime J-D veteran would have hung around.
“We’re going to somehow get him back here so the captains can get him the game ball,” Ormond said. “
Either way, it was a glorious postseason debut for Ormond and J-D as the top-seeded Red Rams bulldozed no. 8 seed Watertown 49-0 in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
J-D (8-0) defeated the Cyclones (3-5) 47-12 in its regular-season finale just six days earlier. By being more impressive in the rematch, the Red Rams advanced to the semifinals to play Whitesboro.
Junior running back Rasheed Baker carried the ball 20 times for 164 yards and two scores, passing the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Senior counterpart Josiah Williams, who regularly lines up in the backfield and split out wide, exploded for two more scores, tallying 149 yards on just eight carries.