Denied the chance at an undefeated season, the Oneida football team is bent on making sure no one else deprives it of a date in the Carrier Dome for championship glory.
In last Friday's opening round of the Section III Class B playoffs, the Indians toyed with Solvay, putting up 31 points before halftime and not stopping until it had rendered a 47-0 destruction of the Bearcats.
A week earlier, Oneida had seen Norwich halt a six-game win streak in a 14-9 decision. And if ever a defeat could prove beneficial, this was one, for it forced the Indians to be intense and focused again, just as the playoffs got started.
Solvay, limping into the contest with a 2-5 mark, beat Oneida 14-12 in the 2002 Class B final. This was their first post-season meeting since that encounter, and no one was getting in the Indians' way this time around.
As a starting point, the Indians moved to Solvay's 15-yard line, where quarterback Ryan Kramer found Brandon Miles in the end zone and hit Joe McCormick for two points, quickly giving Oneida an 8-0 lead.
Not just content with throwing the ball, Kramer showed off his running skills when he took off from Solvay's 27-yard line and found the end zone, then again found McCormick on a two-point conversion.
That 16-0 lead would even further in the second quarter, where Kramer, from 15 yards, again hit McCormick, only this time for a TD.
Following Kramer's two-point run that made it 25-0, the Indians turned a trick play into more ponit when, on a halfback option pass, Wade Kline scored on a 33-yard pass play, and now it was 31-0 going into halftime.
Through all this, Oneida's defense remained steady and tough, keeping Solvay off the board, especially in the second half when the Indians thwarted any hopes of a comeback.