Shock running back rushes for 258 yards on 21 carries
FULTON, N.Y. – Syracuse running back Dewayne ‘Flash’ Gordon rushed for four touchdowns to lead the Shock to a 38-21 victory over the Watertown Red & Black, Saturday night at the Fulton Athletic Complex. Syracuse bounced back from a season-opening loss to improve to 1-1, while Watertown falls to 1-1 after winning their league opener last weekend.
Gordon put on a dominant performance rushing for more than 200 yards, several times chewing up large chunks of yardage. Gordon’s longest run from scrimmage was a 65 yard touchdown run early in the first quarter.
In the first half Syracuse displayed a punishing running game to race out to a 26-7 halftime lead. Gordon rushed for 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the opening two quarters to lead Syracuse to the 19-point halftime margin.
Syracuse began the game in spectacular fashion when defensive back Jeff Lott returned the opening kickoff 85 yards handing the Shock a 6-0 lead 18 seconds into the contest.
After a Watertown three-and-out, Syracuse needed just three plays to get into the end zone again. On a first-and-ten from their own 35 yard line, Gordon took a toss around the right corner and scooted 65 yards for the score. Syracuse jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead after quarterback TJ Sheard found receiver Tyron Burke for the two-point conversion at the 9:58 mark of the first quarter.
Watertown responded with a methodical nine play drive that saw the Red & Black utilize a no-huddle offense which seemed to slow down the Shock defense. Following at 21 yard scamper by Watertown quarterback Brian Williams, that positioned the Red & Black deep in Shock territory, a sack and holding penalty set up a third-and-32 for Watertown. Williams avoided a Syracuse rush and slung a pass down the right hash to Jarrun Hilaire who broke a tackle and found the end zone. Watertown cut the Syracuse lead to 14-7 with 4:36 remaining in the first quarter following a successful PAT attempt.
A 38 yard bomb by Sheard gave Syracuse its third touchdown of the game as Burke beat his defender on a well executed fade route with 25 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Gordon scored his second TD of the half on a six yard run, crossing the end zone untouched five minute into the second quarter. Syracuse would hold Watertown scoreless the remainder of the half taking a 26-7 lead into the locker room.
On Watertown’s first possession of the second half Syracuse forced a three-and-out. After four consecutive running plays, Sheard threw a beautiful 46 yard pass that split a pair of Watertown defenders hitting Burke in stride setting up Syracuse with a first and goal on the Red & Black one yard line. A play later Gordon scored his third touchdown on an off-tackle play that gave Syracuse a 32-7 lead early in the third quarter. Burke finished the game with 129 yards receiving on just six catches.
Watertown did not go away however, as running back Joe Brennan rushed for a hard-earned 12 yard touchdown to cut the score to 32-14 with 4:30 left to play in the third. The Red & Black had its best opportunity to get back into the game following a Syracuse three-and-out but an interception by Geremy Barnwell halted the Watertown threat.
Gordon scored his fourth touchdown of the game after a mishandled snap by Watertown punter Zach Grulich on the Watertown 4 yard line. Late in the fourth quarter, Williams and Hilarie connected again on a 44 yard touchdown pass down the Syracuse sideline making the final 38-21.
In Week Four of the EFL schedule Syracuse (1-1) will host Amsterdam (0-2) for their second consecutive home game, while Watertown (1-1) will travel to Montreal (1-1).
6-0: (SYR) J. Lott 85-yard KO Return TD (Failed two-point conversion), 14:42
14-0: (SYR) D. Gordon 65 yard rushing TD (Sheard to Burke two-point conversion), 9:58
14-7: (WAT) B. Williams to J. Hilaire 34 yard TD pass (Grulich kick good), 4:36
20-7: (SYR) T. Sheard to T. Burke 28 yard TD pass (Failed two-point conversion), 00:25
26-7: (SYR) D. Gordon 6 yard TD run (Failed two-point conversion), 10:12
32-7: (SYR) D. Gordon 1 yard TD run (Failed two-point conversion), 7:30
32-14: (WAT) J. Brennan 12 yard TD run (Grulich kick good), 4:30
38-14: (SYR) D. Gordon 4 yard TD run (Failed two-point conversion), 7:30
38-21: (WAT) B. Williams to J. Hilaire 21 yard TD pass (Grulich kick good), 6:18