ORCHARD PARK -Two streaks came to an end for the Jamestown Red Raiders football team on Friday night.
For the first time this season, Jamestown didn't score 50 points, but that didn't bother the Red Raiders.
That's because for the first time since 1992, they won a game at Orchard Park.
Jamestown High School football coach Tom Langworthy, far right, receives a hug from assistant coach Dave Munella after the Red Raiders defeated Orchard Park, 42-41, in a Class AA game Friday night. Joining the celebration are, from the left, John O’Brien and Arrick Davis. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Jim Riggs
However, Jamestown almost needed 50 points as it escaped with a 42-41 victory over the Quakers.
With the win, the Red Raiders finish the regular season at a perfect 6-0 in Class AA and 7-0 overall while Orchard Park is 4-2 and 6-2. But, more importantly, Jamestown claimed its first outright Section Class AA title since 2000.
''We were co-champs last year and this year we didn't want to share it,'' Coach Tom Langworthy said. ''They deserve to be champions and I'm proud that they're bringing a championship back to Jamestown where it belongs.''
But it wasn't easy because the Red Raiders were 3 yards away from becoming co-champions again.
After scoring a touchdown and two-point conversion to take a 40-35 lead with 2:55 to play, the Red Raiders saw Orchard Park drive 60 yards in eight plays to score a touchdown on a 1-yard run by running back Desean Walker with 27.8 seconds left to play. That cut the Jamestown lead to one and the Quakers went for the win with a two-point conversion run.
Quarterback Kevin Goltz made the run, but fumbled into the end zone where a teammate was about to grab the ball. But Jamestown's Ben Larson pounced on the ball first to preserve his team's 42-41 lead.
When asked about going for two, Langworthy said, ''I thought I probably would have. It was a good call. They were three yards away from a win and they'd been losing the whole game. And I think their guys were tired, so I don't think it was a bad call. We just buckled down and played. We knew they were three yards from a win, we were three yards from a win and we ended up getting it.''
He added, ''Sometimes it comes down to a series of plays, sometimes it comes down to one play. Tonight it came down to one play and we won the play.''
But Jamestown still had one more play to win. On the ensuing kickoff, the Red Raiders knew to expect an onside kick. Earlier in the game the Quakers had attempted one that Jamestown fumbled away. This time, the ball bounced off numerous players before Jamestown's Cameron Haberberger pounced on the ball to lock up the victory.
The one-point victory was quite a change from the previous six victories which were not close, but Langworthy felt confident his team would be up to the challenge of a close game.
''I think we knew it all along, but tonight solidified it,'' he said. ''We had a couple of points in the season with some adversity and we were able to fight through it. I figured if we got into something like that tonight we'd be able to play through it and that's exactly what we did.''
Some of that adversity came when Orchard Park took its first lead of the game with 3:33 left to play when Goltz hit Chris Murphy, who got by defender Matthew Nazzaro who slipped, for a 65-yard touchdown play and Ryan Falsone's extra-point kick gave the Quakers a 35-34 lead.
But Jamestown came right back and regained the lead in dramatic fashion. Quarterback Jake Sisson hit Larson for a 12-yard gain on a third-and-10 play. On another third-and-10, Sisson connected with Zack Panebianco for 35 yards for a first down at the 6. From there, Sisson scored as it ended up the only person he had to get by was one of the officials on the goal line.
''I just cut it back on the inside and I missed the ref, thank goodness, because I got in the end zone,'' Sisson said.
Then Sisson hit Brian Park to a two-point conversion and a 42-35 lead. And those two points became very important.
Sisson completed 28-of-41 passed for 444 yard and two touchdowns, and two two-point conversions. He also rushed 15 times for 70 yards and three more touchdowns.
Stephen Carlson caught 11 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown and Panebianco caught six for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Da'Quon Hollingsworth was held to 20 yards on 10 carries.
''They do a good job of stuffing up the middle,'' Langworthy said about Orchard Park stopping his running game. ''But that opens up the opportunity to pass.''
The Red Raiders' passing began early as they overcame three penalties in their opening series and drove 63 yards in nine plays to score on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Sisson to Park and Panebianco kicked the extra point.
But Orchard Park came right back and drove 70 yards in 14 plays to score on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Goltz to Murphy and Falsone's extra-point kick tied the game at 7-7 with 1:06 left in the first quarter.
The Red Raiders turned the ball over on downs, the Quakers punted back and Jamestown got in the end zone again. Sisson hit Panebianco on a slant from the left for a 21-yard touchdown pass, but Panebianco's kick hit the upright to keep the Red Raiders' lead at 13-7.
A couple of penalties stalled Orchard Park's next possession and it punted. A one-handed catch by Panebianco for 25 yards and a first down sparked the Red Raiders' drive. Later, Sisson ran for 25, 4 and 3 yards, the last for a touchdown and a 19-7 lead with 4:41 left in the half. A two-point pass attempt failed and the lead remained at 12.
After the kickoff, Orchard Park drove to the Jamestown 3, but a sack by Eric Tingue for 8 yards and three incomplete passes allowed the Red Raiders to take over on their own 14 with three timeouts.
Sisson hit Carlson with three passes to the sideline and he stepped out of bounds to stop the clock. Jamestown reached the 22 and on a final play with one second left, Sisson hit Park with a pass inside the 5. After he was tackled, Park reached out, much like Kevin Dyson of the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, and ended up a foot short of the end zone.
That gave the Quakers some momentum heading into halftime and it continued when they took the second-half kickoff and drove 75 yards in six running plays, the first a 46-yard keeper by Goltz, and Walker scored on a 3-yard run. Falsone kicked the extra point to cut the Jamestown lead to 19-14.
The Red Raiders came right back and extended their lead when Sisson hit Carlson with an 11-yard touchdown pass and Panebianco's kick put them ahead, 26-14.
After an exchange of punts, Orchard Park scored early in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard run by Goltz and Falsone's kick cut the Jamestown lead to 26-21.
Again Jamestown bounced back and Sisson completed a 40-yard pass to Carlson, who was stopped at the 1. From there, Sisson scored on a keeper and then Panebianco was set to kick the extra point.
The snap to Sisson was low and he pull the ball up and rolled out to pass. He fired to Park, who made an amazing catch in the left corner of the end zone for a 42-35 lead.
''I was diving for it because he had to throw it so far ahead because the guy was right on me,'' Park said. ''It was a crazy catch. I knew he'd get the ball to me, he usually does.''
Sisson said, ''It was just a low snap. I knew in that circumstance I didn't have enough time to set it on the tee for Zack. So I called 'fire' and let it off for Brian.''
It was just a case of practice makes perfect, according to Langworthy.
''We practice bad snaps,'' he said. ''Jake yells 'fire' and he rolls and he throws it because there's no negative play, there's no interception or anything like that. Brian was in the corner where he should have been. Jake knew he was going to be there and threw it and it was a wonderful play.''
And those two points instead of one became very important.
Orchard Park answered by driving 40 yards and scoring on a 1-yard run by Goltz and Falsone's kick pulled the Quakers within six, 34-28, with 5:38 left to play.
Then they scored again with 3:33 left to set up the wild finish.
Jamestown's defensive leader was Haberberger with 15 tackles, three for losses. Kevin Mosley and Damien Jackson had 10 tackles each and Carlson had nine.
The Red Raiders will open the Class AA playoffs with a quarterfinal game at Strider Field on Friday at 7 p.m., probably against Lockport.
Jamestown 7 12 13 8 - 42
Orchard Park7 0 2 1 13 -41
Jam-Park 29 pass from Sisson (Panebianco kick)
OP-Murphy 35 pass from Goltz (Falsone kick)
Jam-Panebianco 21 pass from Sisson (kick failed)
Jam-Sisson 3 run (pass failed)
OP-Walker 3 run (Falsone kick)
Jam-Carlson 11 pass from Sisson (Panebianco kick)
OP-Goltz 24 run (Falsone kick)
Jam-Sisson 1 run (Park pass from Sisson)
OP-Goltz 1 run (Falsone kick)
OP-Murphy 65 pass from Goltz (Falsone kick)
Jam-Sisson 6 run (Park pass from Sisson)
OP-Walker 1 run (run failed).