continued “His poise has just been outstanding.” J-D head coach Eric Ormond said. “Rasheed just said, ‘Give me the world, I’ll put it on my shoulders and I’ll carry it.’ ”
Still, Ormond said, the turning point of the game, wasn’t Baker’s running, but his plays on defense. Baker’s interception late in the third quarter prevented the Bulldogs from reclaiming the lead off a short J-D punt.
The play, which Baker said Ormond told him to watch for, was a tight end seam route Baker said he read the whole way.
“Coach called out the seam,” he said. “I (saw) it and I just capitalized on it.”
Early in the fourth quarter, J-D used Baker's power runs to move to the Bulldogs' nine, from which Baker took it home for his first TD, as DiGiovanni's conversion made it 14-6.
The clincher came with 1:29 to go in the game. With J-D trying to run out the clock, Baker burst through the defense again.
But he didn’t stop after a few yards. Instead, he kept on churning 44 yards into the end zone to put him well past the 200-yard mark and deliver a sweet victory for the Rams.
Now J-D can put all of its energy into next Friday's showdown with its other neighborly rival, East Syracuse-Minoa, with first place in Class A's American division likely at stake.
The Spartans had to work hard Friday to pull out a 17-14 Homecoming victory over Whitesboro, the long-time Class A power who fell to 0-4 on the season despite having lost those four games by a combined 13 points.
And this one was close, too, Whitesboro surprising ESM early in the first quarter when Cody Stewart scored on a 61-yard run. Shaking this off, the Spartans tied it, 7-7, on Sean Richardson’s 51-yard scoring pass to Pat Bryant.