Now the Jamesville-DeWitt football team can make plans to join its neighbors from East Syracuse-Minoa as both trek toward the Section III Class A playoffs.
On a memorable Senior Night, the Red Rams made it back-to-back wins, overcoming an early deficit and pulling away in the fourth quarter to beat Fulton 47-13 to improve to 2-2 in the Class A American division.
As this went on, ESM was in Oswego, finding the end zone in many different ways as the Spartans rolled past the Buccaneers by a score of 49-6.
J-D was just the latest team to find out how far Fulton had fallen from its normally lofty status as a perennial Class A title contender.
That didn't happen right away, though. Even with quarterback Ahkeen Williams scoring early on a 44-yard touchdown run, Fulton clawed its way to a 13-7 lead early in the second period as Brett Williams and Donald Watson found the end zone on runs of eight and two yards, respectively.
Late in the half, the Rams began to take over. Williams capped off a long drive with a two-yard run that, with Chris Beaulieu's extra point, gave J-D a 14-13 lead.
Then, just before halftime, Curtis Walker took a handoff on his own 31-yard line and, breaking tackles, didn't stop until he was in the end zone 69 yards later. The Rams led, 21-13, going into the break, as Walker finished with 123 yards on just 11 carries.
Amani Jackson expanded that margin in the third quarter, racing 32 yards to the end zone, but J-D saved its best work for the final period.
Twice, the Rams drove toward the Red Raiders' goal line and finished off those drives with touchdowns - Williams on a one-yard plunge, Jackson on a three-yard run. And J-D's defense provided the final blow when Willie Walker returned a Fulton fumble 78 yards for the final TD.
As J-D basked in its return to the post-season, ESM, already in the playoffs, relaxed in the wake of its big win at Oswego.
Taking charge right away, the Spartans sprinted to a 15-0 lead on the Buccaneers in the first quarter. Quarterback Tyler Johnson broke loose for a 74-yard TD run to open the scoring.
ESM's defense forced a safety and, after the free kick, the Spartans put together another scoring drive, Jordan Barton going the final 18 yards for the TD.
In the second quarter, Johnson went to the air, twice connecting on TD passes - 34 yards to Mike Gorney, then 14 yards to Buddy Frigon. Jeff McDuffie went three-for-four on extra points, and ESM was up 29-6 at the half.
Barton, who had 120 rushing yards on 11 carries, added another TD in the third quarter on a seven-yard run as Johnson also threw a one-yard scoring pass to Bobby Campese. Jacquell Cotton came in the fourth quarter and got his first varsity touchdown on a 20-yard run.
ESM (4-2, 3-1 league) returns home next Friday to meet Mexico in the regular-season finale, just as J-D makes its own visit to Oswego in hot pursuit of a third straight win.