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Jamestown blanks Frontier to claim Class A championship

Jaylen Butera has been the workhorse for the Jamestown Red Raiders all season, and the formula of getting the senior the ball combined with stout defense worked like a charm on Friday night at Highmark Stadium.

Jamestown defeated Frontier 41-0 off the back of 192 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Butera to win their first sectional championship since 2014.

After losing in heartbreaking fashion, 30-29 in overtime, to South Park during the Spring 2021 Class A final, redemption could not have come in a better way.

“We felt like this was our time,” Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy said. “We feel like we’ve been in some battles over the years and we just felt we were ready for this … I’m super proud to bring a championship back to Jamestown.”

Butera got the Red Raiders on the board with just over two minutes to play in the first quarter, as he broke a run to the outside and streaked into the endzone from 22 yards out on fourth down, making it 7-0 Jamestown after the end of the first quarter. It was the start of what wound up being a sectional title game performance to remember from the Jamestown senior.

“I envision myself making big plays, and once I get out on the field, I just get in this mode,” Butera said. “The linemen do it all for me, I’ll say it again and again because it’s true, and once I get to that second level I seek a touchdown.”

The Red Raiders would extend their lead thanks to two scores in 23 seconds, first through Butera’s second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard dive. After Ben Anderson fell on a Frontier fumble, they wasted no time capitalizing, as quarterback Trey Drake connected with Anderson on a 34-yard pass play to make it 21-0.

After the Falcons began stringing a drive together late in the second quarter, Sincere Green picked off Frontier quarterback Jacob Bush to halt the Falcon momentum and have the score remain 21-0 at halftime.

The nail in the coffin came late in the third quarter, as the Falcons attempted a double pass that was intercepted by Colin Melendez. On the ensuing Jamestown drive, with 38 seconds to play in the third quarter, Anderson broke a 39-yard rush right up the middle to extend the Red Raider lead to 28-0.

The interception marked the third and final turnover of the game for the Jamestown defense, and highlighted just how integral that unit has been to this dominant playoff run. In their three playoff games, the Red Raiders allowed an average of just over seven points per

game. Friday night, they held a vaunted Frontier rushing attack to just 152 yards, and 158 total yards.

“When we started to get those pressure situations, we always came up with a play,” Langworthy said. “[Frontier’s rushing attack] is a tough thing to stop, and I thought we really handled that well. We knew they were going to get some first downs but we just wanted to make them work really hard for it.”

A 9-yard rush from Butera and a 5-yard run from Radon Wright capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter.

The Red Raiders will advance to the NYSPHSAA Regionals game next week, where they’ll face off with Section V’s Canandaigua and have quite a nice advantage: the game will be played at Strider Field in Jamestown. The matchup is slated for 8 p.m. on Nov. 19.

“To play a regional game at Strider is a unique opportunity,” Langworthy said. “It’s really awesome, don’t have to get on a bus, don’t have to do the travel … [Canandaigua] is good, and they’re all going to be good from here on out.

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