For the first time in over 17 months, the Jamestown Red Raiders football team went onto their field last night as if they were on a mission. In a short five-game regular season, it has created more pressure then ever for football programs to get off to a strong start.
The Red Raiders hosted the Hamburg Bulldogs, from start to finish they put the throttle down and never let up. The running game, along with a strong offensive line, paid dividends as junior two-way player Jaylen Butera and senior two-way player Demarri Jones, provided most of the scoring. The offensive line did a great job creating holes for Jones and Butera to run through, while not letting Hamburg’s defense into the backfield often.
Jamestown displayed a type of team that was in mid-season form; last year they fell to Lancaster in the Class AA semifinals. Now that they’re bumped down to Class A this season, they’re looking to be the team to beat.
Once the game went final, Jamestown head coach Tom Langworthy really took in the moment emotionally. During a postgame interview, Langworthy said this game was a special night that he won’t forget and delved into how his team never lost hope when their season was up in the air.
“They’ve been through a lot, they’ve endured a lot and they’ve overcome a lot. They never lost hope and it says a lot about their character and their belief in the program,” Langworthy said.
Jones started it off with the team’s first two touchdowns early in the first quarter. Butera set up the score after running 29 yards to pin Hamburg’s defense at their 1-yard line, Jones then plowed through to get Jamestown on the board first.
Ensuing possession in their own territory Hamburg fumbled, the speed of Jamestown’s defense got to it first, giving them great field position. The first play of Jamestown’s second drive, Jones runs it 17 yards and into the end zone, prompting a 14-0 lead with less than five minutes into the game.
After a three-and-out for the Bulldogs, their opponent’s offense responded quickly, during the drive Butera ran 32 yards to get his team back into enemy territory. Sophomore quarterback Trey Drake threw a dart to sophomore Colin Melendez for a 20-yard gain. Butera completed the drive running eight yards for the score, putting Jamestown up 21-0 to end the first quarter.
Jamestown would extend their lead to 27 after Drake threw to Jones for a 53-yard touchdown. Jones would end the night with three TD’s (2 rushing, 1 receiving). Butera piled on the scoring during the next drive, running it 37 yards to the house.
The junior two-way player continued his strong performance in the second half. First drive in the third quarter saw the running back sprint 57 yards for his third rushing touchdown, giving his team a 40-point lead.
Hamburg struggled to find positive yardage against Jamestown’s defense, but did manage to break through. Late in the fourth quarter, junior Ryan Gomolka found a hole to his left and cut outside, going 29 yards for a touchdown to avoid the shutout.
Jamestown would hold onto possession once the clock reached zero, defeating Hamburg by a final score of 47-6.
“We’ve been waiting to play for such a long time and now we get to do it. Get to get out in a win and just to see the smiles on these kid’s faces does mean a lot,” Longworthy said.
The Red Raiders next game will be on the road, they will face Grand Island on Saturday, April 10. Hamburg will be home on Friday, April 9, going up against West Seneca West.
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