Jun 05, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
With the way that it could produce so much on one end of the field and then abuse an opponent on the other end of the field, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys lacrosse team knows that only a state championship can provide an orderly conclusion to a special season.
Remembering that such a conclusion doesn’t always take place, the Red Rams soared at the same spot where it stumbled in 2012, smashing past Section VI champion Hamburg 18-5 in Wednesday’s state Class B semifinal at St. John Fisher College near Rochester.
Again, the duo of Jordan Evans and Griffin Feiner lit it up, Evans dishing out eight assists to go with his pair of goals and Feiner, benefiting from Evans’ passes, picked up seven goals.
Head coach Jamie Archer said that, even with opponents well aware of what Evans and Feiner can do, they still manage to put up big numbers.
“Teams have to worry about Jordan,” he said. “When they slide, Griffin is a big target (6-foot-3) and he knows how to get open.”
J-D was facing a Hamburg side that was new to the pressure of a state semifinal, but had proved impressive in ousting Canandaigua 12-3 in its regional playoffs.
Now the Bulldogs’ defense faced a larger task in its attempt to contain Jordan Evans, Griffin Feiner and the rest of a Rams squad burning to atone for its 8-5 defeat in this same round to Irondequoit a year ago.
“That loss was in the back of our minds,” said Evans. “Our seniors wanted to get back in the state championship game.”
Quickly, J-D established total control. The opening two minutes alone saw Jeff Edwards and Lucas Johnson win three straight face-offs and turn all of them into goals, one each from Feiner, Mike Engstrom and Lucas Phillips, leading the Bulldogs to burn a time-out to stop things from getting out of hand.
It worked, for a time, Hamburg forcing J-D into turnovers, but soon enough the Rams’ attack resumed its production, Phillips earning his second goal at the 6:59 mark to create a 4-0 lead.
Nick Wilcox converted to get the Bulldogs on the board late in the first quarter, but Ryan McKee answered 25 seconds later, and Evans assisted on Feiner’s second goal in the waning seconds of the period, making it 6-1 going to the second quarter.
Continuing to dominate the face-offs, the Rams extended the margin to 9-1 early in the second period as Scott Firman joined Evans and Engstrom in adding on goals, moving too fast and shooting too well for Hamburg’s defense to adequately respond.
When it did have to play defense, Firman, Mike Perkins, Jamie McBurney, Josiah Williams and J-D’s back line physically pounded Hamburg’s attackers, at least until back-to-back goals from Wilcox and Max Maxwell cut the margin to 9-3.
Just to make sure Hamburg didn’t get too close, Feiner notched his third and fourth goals as the half wound down. J-D carried a comfortable 11-3 lead to the break, Edwards and Johnson having won 12 of 16 face-offs.
“If they keep winning those face-offs, we’ll keep scoring goals,” said Evans.
Far from content, the Rams went after more in the third quarter, as Feiner, with two more goals, and Edwards extended the lead to 14-3. When McKee and Feiner scored early in the fourth quarter and extended the margin to 15-3, Evans assisted both times, and he tacked on a late goal.
Just after J-D finished off Hamburg, Niskayuna, the only team to beat J-D this spring, lost the other state semifinal in a 10-9 classic to defending state champion Garden City, who scored the game-winner with two seconds left in regulation.
So it’s yet another state final between J-D and Garden City, to be played at St. John Fisher Saturday at 11 a.m. The Rams won both the 2010 and 2011 state titles at the Trojans’ expense before Garden City claimed the title in 2012 over the Irondequoit side that denied the Rams the state three-peat.
Archer said that, given J-D and Garden City’s vast experience in big games, “it’s just a matter of who goes out and makes plays.”