East Syracuse East Syracuse-Minoa's first football play from scrimmage resulted in a touchdown. So did the second play, and so did three more plays in the first eight minutes of Thursday night's season opener against Watertown.
This stunning outburst amounted to 32 points, and though the Spartans would cool down and let the visiting Cyclones back into the contest before halftime, it would reclaim control in the latter stages and cruise to a 47-21 victory.
No question, ESM was fired up to play the initial Section III gridiron contest of 2013 in front of a live television audience thanks to Time Warner Cable Sports. It also was eager to prove that last fall's first-round Class A playoff exit was an aberration, and that it was ready to contend for championships again.
Yet even the most optimistic Spartans partisan could hardly imagine the way it would start. On the very first snap, Henninger transfer RiQuelle Othman took a handoff, sprinted left toward the sideilne, and outran the Watertown defenders 63 yards to the end zone.
The Cyclones' Ken Singletary promptly fumbled on its first snap,and Andrew Messinger recovered on the Watertown 24. On the very next play, Sean Richardson went for it all and found Eyan Underwood for his first TD pass of the season. Even with a missed extra point, it was 13-0, and the game was just 35 seconds old.
When Underwood pounced on another Singletary fumble on the Cyclones' second play from scrimmage, ESM had a third chance - and got a third touchdown, using an 18-yard pass to Anthony Townsend to set up Othman's one-yard scoring plunge.
Now it was 19-0, but more was ahead. On its fourth possession, the Spartans, using a no-huddle, hurry-up approach, turned again to Richardson, who threw 33 yards to Underwood before finding DeShaun Gorman on a screen pass that turned into a 37-yard sprint to the goal line and a 25-0 margin.