They lost their first two games. Five of the players were tossed off the team for their alleged involvement in a brawl. But Jamestown returned to what it does best on Saturday, beating Frontier, 28-22, to halt its worst start since 1975.
The victory, the 125th in coach Wally Huckno's career, came as a welcome relief for the veteran coach of 17 seasons.
Huckno dismissed the players before last week's Orchard Park game for violating team rules after learning they had been involved in an altercation outside of a Burger King in Falconer on Sept. 8.
Four of the Red Raiders were arrested following the fight which also involved former students from Falconer High School. Despite the unexpected roster moves, Huckno said the distraction caused by the arrests has been minimal.
"This has had no impact at all, other than one of the kids was a starter, and we found an end that we think is at least equal," Huckno said, prior to the start of Saturday's game. "There's no doubt it's hurting us in practice because of depth. I guess our philosophy has always been if you break the team rules, you're gone. Whether it's a quarterback, the starting tailback. With team rules, we treat the kids equally."
William Cerat, a 5-foot-5, 140-pound running back, was working at the Burger King when he was allegedly threatened by a former Falconer student. Police reported that several people involved in the melee were injured, and at least one was hospitalized with a head injury.
According to the police report, four players, Cerat, Eric Fisher, Cory Sims and Ricardo Gonzalez, all 17, have been charged with gang assault and criminal facilitation. All of the players were arraigned and released on bond. The charge of gang assault is a class B felony, which carries a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years.