The Red and Black simply didnt have another comeback in them.
Down by six points with just under two minutes to play, Watertown took possession at the Monroe County 25-yard line. But after a short run and three incomplete passes, all three of which saw a receiver get a hand on the ball, the Sting escaped with a 20-14 victory over the Red and Black Saturday night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
This game was anybodys game to definitely have and we fell short is all, six points short, Watertown coach George Ashcraft said.
We were two, three plays away on either side of the ball, the game could go a different way, quarterback Brian Williams added. We had our hands on the ball in the end zone a couple times at the end of the game, just didnt come down with it. But thats football, thats how it works. We just come back next week and continue to work hard and look forward to next Saturday.
The Red and Black (3-2) dropped out of a first-place tie in the Empire Football League standings with Syracuse (4-1), which earned a 21-13 win over Vermont on Saturday.
Watertown is now in a tie for third place with Monroe County (3-2). Both teams are a half-game back of Albany (3-1).
With the Red and Black behind 20-7 with just over six minutes to play, Williams turned the first play of the drive into a 50-yard run. He then scored from 10 yards out on the following play to put Watertown within six points with just over five minutes left.
But Watertown couldnt complete the comeback over Monroe County, as it did in the season opener by scoring three touchdowns in the final 11 minutes.
This game, we just wanted to play good defense and run the ball to control the clock, said Monroe County running back Jamel Dennis, who gained 156 yards on 23 carries.
We stuck together, Dennis added. It looked like the last game, but weve grown as a team, and we buckled down at the end when we had to.
The loss was a tough end to a tough week for the Red and Black, which saw offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Ammbrose Souza part ways with the team.
This team has been through a lot in the past week, and for us to come together tonight the way we did and perform the way we did, Im real proud of everybody on both sides of the ball, said Red and Black linebacker Matt Kepler, who registered a team-high 16 tackles and a sack. Now, we need to get to practice and hit a little harder this week.
Weve had our own things that weve been dealing with internally, and were missing a coach, were missing an offensive coach at that, Williams added. For what has happened this past week, Im very proud of all the guys that came out on this field and gave 60 minutes worth of football because thats all you can ever ask.
Williams finished with a team-high 102 yards rushing and a touchdown on eight carries.
Joe Brennan added 78 yards on 10 carries, including a 58-yard touchdown run to put the Red and Black on the board early in the second quarter.
Harold Taylor provided 55 yards on eight attempts.
Sting quarterback Doby Howard completed 10-of-20 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Derrek Davis was Howards favorite target, finishing with 122 yards on four catches. The two connected on a 20-yard touchdown pass on Monroe Countys opening drive.
The Red and Black has a chance to quickly regain ground in the EFL standings this Saturday by hosting the defending champion, second-place Albany, at 7:30 p.m. at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
The game will be Alumni night, and will be highlighted by former Red and Black greats Al Countryman and Pat Killorin receiving commemorative jerseys. Both players have already had their numbers retired.