Even now, it isn't too soon to consider the 2006 edition of the Cazenovia football team as one of the best -- if not the best -- in the program's history.
In 10 weeks of action, the Lakers have gone 10-0, cutting up opponents by an astonishing margin of 452-36, one foe after another melting against the team's lethal combination of punishing defense and opportunistic offense.
This blitzkrieg was supposed to be halted last Saturday night in the Carrier Dome, when the equally undefeated Westhill Warriors stood in the way of the Lakers' first Section III Class B championship since 2001.
But not even the talented Warriors could put a dent into Cazenovia's rumbling machine, and the ensuing 32-7 decision left little doubt as to who is the area's best Class B squad.
As always, the Lakers' success stemmed from its defense. It faced a huge challenge with Westhill, a team that had piled up 352 points in its nine wins, an average of nearly 40 points per game.
Specifically, the challenge was to keep junior running back Dale Ross from the big plays that allowed him to pile up 306 yards in the Warriors' semifinal win over Holland Patent.
To say that the defense did a nice job in that front would be a major understatement. As a whole, Westhill had just 88 yards of total offense.
David Etter, Paddy Adolfi, Jason Jones, Marcus Schokker and Connor Ryan dominated the line of scrimmage, and frequently got to quarterback Dan Fetter, sacking him nine times.
This allowed the vaunted linebacker trio of Brandon Moyer, Artie Bigsby and James Irwin could run wild and make every necessary tackle. Ross frequently saw them, as he carried the ball 18 times for just 86 yards.
Amid all this, the Lakers' offense had its share of great moments, and even when it couldn't find the end zone, Cazenovia would still come through.