Nothing could keep the Oneida football team from its appointment with a league championship -- even a showdown with its biggest rival.
In fact, the Indians' trip to Vernon-Verona-Sherrill last Saturday afternoon provided all the motivation necessary, as Oneida made it six wins in a row by pounding the Red Devils 43-14 at Sheveron Field.
On its way to clinching the top spot in the Class B East division, the Indians racked up 528 yards of total offense, much of it in a first-half blitz that featured 36 unanswered points and all kinds of magic from senior Ryan Kramer.
Kramer, the Indians' quarterback, had used a punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to pull out his team's huge 14-13 win over Chittenango eight days earlier. Against VVS, neither Kramer nor his mates would wait that long to get moving.
Oneida's entire opening drive consisted of Rick Rossi running the ball, a series of big gains that led to Rossi going the final yard for a touchdown and Joe McCormick's extra point that gave the Indians a 7-0 edge.
Quickly getting the ball back, the Indians kept handing it to Rossi, 10 straight plays in all. Then, with VVS expecting more Rossi power, what it got instead was Kramer taking off behind Matt Gillmeister's big block to go 38 yards for a TD. Kramer also threw to Branon Miles for two points.
Now down 15-0, the Red Devils though it had a chance to recover when a good punt sent Oneida to its own eight-yard line.
All that did, though, was give Kramer a chance to really show off. Going on another bootleg, he ran left, then faked to the middle, sending two VVS defenders off course as Kramer streaked down the sideline. A mere 92 yards later, Oneida had six points, then got two more when Kramer found McCormick in the end zone.