ESM defense halts Red Rams

It was truly a game of inches tonight as the No. 6 ESM Spartans traveled to No. 9 Jamesville-Dewitt. A last-gasp three play drive by the Red Rams was held up at the goal line in the final seconds and ESMâ??s defense stormed off the field victorious.

Trailing 14-7 and struggling to move the ball through the air, J-Dâ??s Nate Shapiro pitched the ball to running back James Jones, who launched it deep into Spartan territory for Rob Murphy to haul in at the ESM 25-yard line. With under a minute left in the game J-Dâ??s offense looked primed to spoil the Spartansâ?? night.

With 14 seconds left on the clock and the ball on the one-yard line, Rasheed Baker attempted the final push but was stuffed up by the ESM defense and the final whistle was blown before the Red Rams could get in another play.

"It's all about discipline and heart,â?? said ESM head coach Kevin DeParde. â??Not a lot of coaching goes into that. I wish I could take credit and say I was the hero but it's all about the kids 100-percent on that goal line stand right there.â??

J-D started the night off on a promising note despite a bit of stormy weather moving through during the first quarter. James Jones put the Red Rams on the board first off a 40-yard touchdown run.

Quarterback Sean Richardson answered back when he called his own number in the J-D red zone to tie the game. Richardson ran for 65-yards and threw for 133-yards and a touchdown.

Richardson also provided the game-changing punt that pinned the Red Rams up on their own 1-yard line, leading to a three-and-out situation midway through the third. The punt gave the Spartans prime field positioning, setting up Richardsonâ??s game-winning pass to Patrick Bryant.

The Spartans (4-1) go on the road next week to Fulton. J-D (3-2) will be home once again to face Albany Academy.

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