ESM, J-D football take road losses

Spartans surrender late lead to Colonie; Rams fall to Indian River

So it was 20-8 going to the final period, and ESM appeared in control. But a Garnet Raiders drive that led to Johnson’s 17-yard TD run and two-point pass, which made it 20-16, signaled a turnaround.

Colonie got the ball back, and with a little more than five minutes left, set up the go-ahead score from midfield with McCann’s 41-yard pass to Devon Edwards. On the very next play, Wayne Burt scored on a nine-yard run to put Colonie ahead 23-20.

Now trailing for the first time all night, the Spartans were unable to amount a go-ahead drive of its own, and Burt returned to rumble 38 yards for the clinching score in the waning minutes.

Jamesville-DeWitt, meanwhile, did have to play on Thursday, with a short week of work following its unlikely 13-12 win over Cheektowaga at the Carrier Dome on Sept. 7.

Just five days later, the Red Rams were making the long trip north to face Indian River, and though J-D’s defense forced four turnovers, it could not get its offense going in a 23-7 loss to the Warriors, its first regular-season defeat since 2011.

Injured against Cheektowaga, quarterback Jack Brotzki had to watch as Nick Shapiro got his first start under center. Given that, J-D needed a big game from its big fullback, Rasheed Baker.

But IR’s defense wouldn’t let that happen, stacking the line of scrimmage and quickly getting to Baker before he could get moving. All told, Baker carried the ball 11 times for 25 yards, and Shapiro couldn’t make up for that with the passing game, completing just one pass all night.

Despite that, the Rams stayed in it for a while. Trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, it forced a fumble deep in Warrior territory, and cashed in when Ben Honis scored on a five-yard run and Anthony DiGiovanni made the extra point.

Yet IR regained the lead, 10-7, on Zach LaForest-Hurd’s 31-yard field goal just before halftime, and on its first possession of the third quarter, the Warriors started to pull away, driving to J-D’s 10 before Densel Barnes went in for the TD to make it 16-7. Barnes led his side with 81 rushing yards on 14 carries, while Jakese Crockett carried the ball 11 times for 73 yards.

Unable to move the ball, the Rams kept giving IR chances, and eventually the hosts put the game away as Dustin Sharritt scored from 10 yards out with two minutes left.

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