Though the East Syracuse Minoa and Jamesville-DeWitt football teams carry equal 1-1 records into next Friday’s neighborhood showdown at Spartan Stadium, they got there in vastly different manners.
A stunning last-minute scoring drive gave ESM a 28-21 victory over Fulton Friday night, just as J-D was at home struggling against a tough Auburn side in a 56-22 defeat.
Rarely has ESM lost its first two games of the regular season, but after falling to Brighton in the Sept. 2 Kickoff Classic at the Carrier Dome, the Spartans found itself in trouble against Fulton with time winding down.
The Red Raiders led, 21-14 late in the fourth quarter. Pinned at its own 18-yard line, ESM broke out of it when Dan Garris tossed a shovel pass to Nolan Penoyer and watched Penoyer find open field and dash 82 yards to the end zone with 4:30 to play.
A two-point attempt to take the lead was stopped, so the Spartans still trailed 21-20. But its defense made sure that Fulton did not run out the clock, though it had to burn all of its time-outs along the way.
With 52 seconds left, and out of time-outs, ESM took possession at its own 20. Something big and special was needed – and that’s exactly what happened.
Again Ferris went to the shovel pass, and Gabe Holloman took off on a 32-yard run just past midfield. Then, from the Fulton 48, Garris went deep – and found Adam Caramanna, who streaked to the end zone for the winning touchdown with 23 seconds left.
This wild finish followed a quiet first half where Fulton scored the only points on Cole Cotton’s seven-yard TD run. Down 6-0 at halftime, ESM went in front in the third quarter on scoring runs of one yard by Garris and six yards by David Fagans, only to have the Red Raiders score twice late in the period.
ESM had the last word, though, and now could turn its attention to J-D, who was attempting to follow up its tough 6- 0 season-opening win over Carthage, but ran into an Auburn offense that tore up Ithaca 50-0 in its opener and did even more damage here.
Big play by the Maroons’ Dejour Morris doomed the Red Rams early. Morris scored on a 24-yard run following a 43-yard pass from Liam Schulz to Evan Donovan on third-down-and-12. Minutes later, Morris was back, taking a screen pass from Schulz and dashing 69 yards to the end zone.
Even when the Rams got on the board late in the first quarter, Morris answered with a 44-yard TD run. And the same thing happened in the second period, for though J-D converted a safety and saw Ryan Vespi go 93 yards for six points, that came after Morris nabbed his fourth TD on a 40-yard run.
Trailing 28-16 at halftime, the Rams braced for more of Morris – but instead got burned by his Auburn teammate, Quashar Bowman, who on three straight carries in the third quarter found the end zone three times, all on runs covering 14, 74 and 56 yards, in that order.
Bowman would convert a fourth time in the final period, where J-D would also add a touchdown. Aside from Vespi, no other Rams runner had more than the 49 yards gained by Jake Wright on 13 carries as Adam Honis completed eight of 13 passes for 76 yards.