Oct 27, 2012 Kris Russell Uncategorized
A tough, relentless defense is a large reason why the Jamesville-DeWitt is undefeated and on the way to the Carrier Dome to play for the Section III Class A championship – and every bit of it was needed to clear that final hurdle before the title game.
The Red Rams won a smash mouth contest from Whitesboro, 7-6, in Friday night’s Class A semifinal at Chittenango High School.
The win earned the Red Rams a spot in the sectional final next Friday against Nottingham, who outscored Indian River 48-26 in the other semifinal. J-D beat the Bulldogs, 25-6, on Sept. 28, forcing five turnovers while not committing any of its own.
Against Whitesboro, the Red Rams scored on their first possession Friday, and then turned the game over to their defense.
“You just never know what type of game you’re going to be in,” JD coach Eric Ormond said. “Last year when we played (Whitesboro) it was 28-27 at halftime.
“So you have to be prepared and understand, whether it’s going to be a high scoring game or it’s going to be a slugfest, you have to be mentally prepared play either style.”
Ormond’s defense was stout throughout, but never more so in the final five minutes. Whitesboro twice had the ball in Rams territory, and each time had a pass picked off by J-D safety Josiah Williams.
Williams grabbed the first one on JD’s 10-yard line. His second, on the Rams 33, effectively ended the game.
“It was coming down to the line, I guess,” Williams said. “We knew we had to do something. I happened to be in the right spot at the right time.”
“Great players make great plays in great games,” Ormond said. “Josiah’s a great player, and he made the plays that we needed on the defensive side of the ball.”
Williams played a key role on offense, too. He and fellow running back Taumeras Howard picked up most of the yardage in JD’s lone scoring drive. It covered 67 yards — all on the ground — and was capped by Ben Honis’ six yard run.
Little did anyone know that Kaalar Wynn’s extra point kick would be the deciding point.
Whitesboro started to solve J-D’s defense late in the second quarter. The Warriors drove 53 yards in 11 plays to score on Matt Felitto’s one yard run.
After that, the Warriors went for two points and failed. Felitto took a pitch and was swarmed under five yards from the goal line.
Howard’s 43-yard run early in the third quarter, and quarterback Ryan Wright’s consistent ability to grind out yards on sneak were among the Rams’ few second-half offensive highlights.
That didn’t matter, though, as J-D’s defenders were in no mood to yield. Whitesboro coach Tom Schoen wasn’t surprised thatboth offenses took a back seat.
“I’ve been in a lot of playoff games down the years and defenses can rule,” Schoen said.
And now that J-D defense will get another shot at Nottingham. In two playoff wins, Bulldogs tailback Derrick Gore has amassed 585 yards on the ground, but the Rams can’t concentrate on him because quarterback Marty Clanton can air it out, as evidenced by four TD passes in the post-season.