ROCHESTER The Watertown Red and Black scored three unanswered touchdowns in the final 11 minutes to gain a 24-20 victory over the Monroe County Sting in its Empire Football League regular season opener Saturday at Thomas Edison High School.
Beaver River product Evan Buckingham set up the game-winning score with a 52-yard punt return for the Red and Black. Harold Taylor ended up running it in from five yards out, giving Watertown a four-point lead with just over three minutes to play.
Joe Brennan sparked the scoring surge with a 35-yard touchdown run that cut Monroe Countys lead to 20-10 with 11 minutes left. Brennan added a three-yard scoring run, and finished with 97 yards on 21 carries. Quarterback Brian Williams added 88 yards on 17 carries.
Linebacker Matt Kepler intercepted a pass with 35 seconds remaining to seal the win. He also recovered a fumble and finished with six tackles.
This is one of the biggest wins we could ask for, Watertown coach George Ashcraft said. To come into another teams house, a team as good as Monroe County is, thats the best way you could start a season.
Ryann Reyes finished with a team-high 10 tackles, and Alex Tibbles contributed seven tackles and a sack.
The Red and Black will play the Syracuse Shock, the team that beat them in the semifinals of the EFL playoffs last season, at 7 p.m. Saturday in Fulton.