One quarter remained, and the East Syracuse-Minoa football team was leading Section II Class AA opponent Colonie, right on the Garnet Raiders’ home turf late Friday afternoon. All looked to be going well, and a 2-0 start looked imminent.
But in those last 12 minutes, everything changed. A slumbering Colonie offense woke up, and the Spartans could not stop it, seeing a big lead dissolve into a bitter 30-20 defeat.
ESM just had an adventure getting to Colonie. Originally, the game was set for Friday, and then moved up to Thursday to accommodate the Colonie students observing Yom Kippur.
However, stormy weather pushed the game back to Friday, this time in the afternoon, meaning that ESM players had to leave school early to get to the Albany suburbs in time for kickoff.
Perhaps the schedule shuffle affected both sides, since the first quarter went scoreless. But it was ESM, who scored 32 first-quarter points in its season-opening win over Watertown Sept. 5, who surged out in front, aided by Colonie’s inability to hang on to the ball, the Garnet Raiders turning it over on each of its first four possessions.
Sean Richardson threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second period, going 20 yards to DeShawn Gorman for one score. Then, from his own 15, Richardson threw deep and found Pat Bryant, the big tight end taking off the rest of the way on a spectacular 85-yard TD.
This time, Kollin Diedrickson’s extra point was good, and that, combined with a strong defensive surge, had ESM enjoying a 13-0 lead on Colonie at the break.
The Garnet Raiders got on the board in the third quarter with Will McCann’s 29-yard scoring pass to Kevon Johnson and a two-point conversion, but the Spartans countered as it drove to Colonie’s six before Richardson again hit Bryant for his third TD pass.