Oct 26, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In their own unique and effective styles, the Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse-Minoa football teams moved ahead in the Section III Class A playoffs, inching closer to a possible clash in the Carrier Dome.
The Red Rams relied on its usual formula of defense and power running to blank Whitesboro 14-0 in Friday night’s opening round, just as ESM piled up the points in a 50-14 romp over New Hartford.
J-D’s task was difficult on several fronts. Not only was it facing a Whitesboro side bent on avenging last year’s defeat to the Rams in the Class A semifinals, it was playing a team that had won three in a row following an agonizing 0-4 start where the losses were by a combined margin of 13 points.
Add to that all the experience the Warriors could count on with head coach Tom Schoen in his 40th year at the helm, plus wet and cold conditions, and J-D knew getting through this round would prove daunting.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, but it was quickly apparent that J-D was finding more success pounding the ball on the ground thanks to senior fullback Rasheed Baker.
And it was Baker scoring on a one-yard plunge in the second quarter that got the Rams on the board, as Anthony DiGiovanni added the extra point. With the Rams’ defense thwarting the Warriors at every turn, that 7-0 margin held up until halftime.
During a scoreless third quarter, Whitesboro again tried to move the ball, and again met with frustration, J-D’s tough front line dominating the line of scrimmage as the Warriors would not even gain 100 yards by game’s end and turn the ball over three times with fumbles.
Meanwhile, Baker, by himself, was responsible for 117 yards, requiring 32 carries, nearly half the Rams’ total of 244 rushing yards. That included a series of runs that set up Baker’s second one-yard TD burst in the final period, plus some big gains on late-game marches that helped J-D put it away.
That modest total of 14 points was something ESM would reach – and pass – in just one quarter of its Spartan clash with New Hartford, a team that had pulled off playoff surprises in the past, something that Kevin DeParde and his coaching staff reminded the players of leading up to kickoff.
It didn’t take long for quarterback Sean Richardson to assert himself again – and find his favorite receiver again, going 18 yards to Pat Bryant for the game’s first TD in the opening period.
Another long scoring drive led to Kollin Diedrickson’s 22-yard field goal that made it 9-0, and when ESM got the ball back late in the period, it moved to the New Hartford one-yard line, from where Richardson sneaked in for the TD.
During the second quarter, Richardson’s two-yard TD pass to Bryant helped extend the margin to 23-0, but ESM was not even halfway to its ultimate total for the night.
Three times in the third quarter, ESM found the end zone against a porous New Hartford defense, Richardson running 21 yards for one TD as Coy Whitaker and Fred Johnson also scored on one-yard runs. Whittaker paced the defensive effort, too, as he recorded 12 tackles.
K’Hari Flagg added a five-yard touchdown run in the final period as Richardson went 12-for-21 through the air for 191 yards, though this time his main target was not Bryant, but Eyan Underwood, who amassed 126 receiving yards on just five receptions.
ESM, in next Friday’s Class A semifinals, will take on Carthage, who flattened defending champion Nottingham 42-6 in its opening-round game. That game will be played at Fulton and kick off at 7 p.m.
J-D, meanwhile, goes to Watertown High School that same night and takes on Indian River, who handled Fulton 44-17 in its playoff opener and also beat the Rams 23-7 earlier this season.