Going after a third Section III title in four years, the Cazenovia football team ran into someone bigger, stronger - and in the end, better.
General Brown moved to 10-0 and put an end to the Lakers' own nine-game win streak by prevailing 27-14 in Saturday's Class C final at the Carrier Dome.
The Lions' defense made the primary difference, holding Cazenovia without an offensive touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.
"We did have our chances, but we came up short," Cazenovia head coach Tom Neidl said.
Indeed, four different times the Lakers had the ball inside GB territory in the first half without scoring. It also saw a Justin Hoffmann punt return for a touchdown late in the first quarter called back by an illegal block penalty.
By then, the Lions already had a 13-0 lead. It had blocked Chris Rogers' long field-goal attempt on the Lakers' first possession, then broke Nick Klusacek loose for a 54-yard run two plays later. Jared Flath's one-yard TD run put GB on the board.
Cazenovia got victimized again on its next possession, when Klusacek picked off Jeff Hopsicker's deep pass and returned it 34 yards into Laker territory. Continuing his hot start, Klusacek tore through the line on a 34-yard TD run two plays later.
Staring at its biggest deficit of the entire season, the Lakers settled down on defense and kept GB off the board the rest of the half, getting a key turnover when Liam Ryan recovered a Devon Tyler fumble just before they hit the break.
It was still 13-0 when, early in the third quarter, Zack Golden took a GB punt at his own 38-yard line. Golden broke three tackles, then tore up the right sideline until he was in the end zone, a 62-yard TD return that, this time, was not called back.