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Lakers sail through Thousand Islands, draw Ludden in semis

Even with the disappointment of a rare regular-season defeat that lingered, and a short week in which to recover, the Cazenovia football team just kept on going.

And the Lakers didn't stop until it had gone to Clayton last Friday night and, by a 21-7 margin, eliminated Thousand Islands in the opening round of the Section III Class C playoffs.

Just six days earlier, Cazenovia's dreams of an undefeated season crashed down thanks to a 24-21 defeat to Westmoreland, costing the Lakers both a Class C South regular-season title and a chance to be at home in the first round.

Instead, Cazenovia trudged up to the north country, where Thousand Islands (5-2) had been the fortunate beneficiary of a three-way tie-breaker in Class C North that sent the Vikings and Lowville to the playoffs, but kept General Brown (6-1, its only loss coming by a single point in overtime) out.

Having avoided all that drama, the Lakers did not have to prove its post-season worth, except for the fact that the new batch of starters had mostly been untested on this big a stage.

But Cazenovia responded well, especially on defense, where for more than three whole periods it kept the Vikings off the scoreboard and caused a string of turnovers.

Cody Foster was a catalyst, forcing a pair of Viking fumbles, one of which Tyler Lawerence recovered. In the secondary, Zack Golden came up with an interception, while Sean Dougherty settled into the primary role of stopper, piling up 14 tackles. Seth Goldacker and Chad Dorrance each had 11 tackles.

Thus, the Lakers didn't lack for offensive opportunities, yet it could only manage a 7-0 halftime lead thanks to Chad Dorrance scoring on an 11-yard run in the first quarter.

Dorrance was the change of pace Cazenovia utilized when Goldacker wasn't churning up first downs. Goldacker ran 13 times for 104 yards, while Dorrnace added 52 yards.

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