Sep 11, 2007 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Sure, it meant a nine-day wait after its opener, and it also meant a short week of rest before it would go on further.
But the Skaneateles football team would gladly take that temporary hardship in exchange for an appearance in the Carrier Dome — and for a victory, too.
The Lakers got both on Sunday afternoon, scoring twice in the fourth quarter to break a tie with Phoenix and earn a 21-7 victory over the Firebirds.
Fresh off scoring 31 points in its opening loss to Solvay, the Lakers were eager to go after a Phoenix team that took Marcellus to overtime, so it knew the game wouldn’t’ be easy.
Skaneaeteles had every chance to make it a lopsided affair in the early stages, constantly pinning Phoenix deep in its own territory and making deep inroads.
However, in the first quarter, Matt Wood was stuffed on one fourth down at the Firebirds’ six-yard line, and penalties thwarted the Lakers other times, keeping the game 0-0 for a while.
Midway through the second period, Skaneateles finally broke through, as Matt Butterfield took a counter handoff and raced 23 yards to the end zone, and the Lakers had a 7-0 lead.
Phoenix improved its field position through a good kick return, then answered with a 67-yard march that covered more than five minutes of clock. On a sweep, R.J. Beeles raced 25 yards for the TD, and the extra point tied it, 7-7, as the teams went to halftime.
Slowly, the Lakers’ defense began to assert itself, as Phoenix found itself unable to move for much of the second half. Star running Paul Raymond was held to 95 yards, this after a five-touchdown effort against Marcellus a week earlier.
Gradually, Skaneateles began to win the field position battle again, and even though Wood fumbled at the one-yard line early in the fourth quarter, the Lakers forced Phoenix to punt from its end zone, providing a short field.
Here, Wood redeemed himself. On the same counter play that produced the first TD, Wood raced through the middle 23 yards to the one-yard line, setting up his own scoring plunge with 8:26 left that put Skaneateles in front 13-7.
Again trying to answer, the Firebirds drove to midfield, but at the 50-yard line, the Lakers forced Raymond to fumble, and Thane Green recovered — this on the same field where his father, Tim, was a star for the Orangemen in the 1980s.
Steadily pounding the ball down and field and using up time, the Lakers sealed the victory when, with 4:46 left, Wood went 21 yards for the clinching touchdown. This climaxed a day where Wood earned 202 yards on 29 carries as the blocking of Erik Stevens, Drake Hill, Matt Blake, Ken Dean, Jon Eppolito and George Dobrovsky paved the way.
Skaneateles takes a 1-1 record into Friday’s game at Jordan-Elbridge, which starts at 7 p.m. The Eagles are also 1-1 after taking a 41-0 loss to Westhill last week.