Chittenango 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.”