Not even 24 hours after Syracuse University's football team hit a new low in a loss to Akron in the Carrier Dome, the Oneida Indians had a far more pleasant experience in the big bubble on the SU hill.
The Indians simply destroyed Ithaca (Section IV) in the first half of Sunday's Kickoff Classic, racking up 47 unanswered points in the first half before easing on the throttle and beating the Little Red 47-13.
Already, Oneida had a lot of expectations going into 2008, with 17 seniors on his roster and a more favorable draw in Section III Class B's East division after some struggles in the Class A ranks in recent years.
Nothing that took place against Ithaca discouraged the dreamers.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Indians marched 67 yards through Ithaca's porous defense, mixing Rick Rossi's runs with deft passing from Rob Kramer. It ended with Kramer finding Wade Kline in the end zone from 15 yards out, making it 7-0 before the game was three minutes old.
A 24-yard screen pass on third-down-and-16 from Kramer to Kline kick-started a 59-yard drive that moved to the one-yard line before Rossi plunged in for the touchdown. Before the period was done, Rossi scored again, this time on a 20-yard run up the middle, and it was 21-0 going to the second quarter.
Here, Kramer really took over. Receiving a punt at his own 15-yard line, the senior twisted, broke tackles, changed direction a couple of times, and didn't stop until he had gone 80 yards to Ithaca's five-yard line. Two plays later, back in his quarterback duties, Kramer found Brandon Miles in the end zone, a 10-yard TD strike.
Rossi came back for his third TD, a three-yard run, that made it 34-0, and just 19 seconds later Nate Mallinder gave the defense some points when he took an interception back 37 yards for a touchdown.