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Lakers blank Mount Markham

Normal behavior for the Cazenovia football team involves many different factors - not the least of which is a defense capable of silencing all opposition.

For the fourth time in six outings this season, the Lakers earned a shutout Friday night, this time handling Mount Markham 42-0 to clinch the outright Class C South division regular-season championship.

Before this, Cazenovia had blanked APW 49-0 in its Sept. 5 opener, topped Sherburne-Earlville 48-0 two weeks later, and kept Clinton off the board in a 45-0 decision the week before traveling to Mount Markham.

Add the shutout of the Mustangs, and it's a 6-0 regular season where the Lakers have outscored its foes 270-28, numbers quite similar to what they did in winning back-to-back Class B titles in 2006 and '07.

With a front seven anchored by middle linebacker Cody Foster and a secondary led by Chad Dorrance, Cazenovia forced early mistakes from Mount Markham that led to short fields and 28 points before the first quarter was over.

Foster, also the Lakers' fullback, began the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run, and Dorrance took his turn with a 14-yard sprint to the end zone to make it 14-0.

When Mount Markham punted deep in its own territory after another Laker stop, Justin Hoffman fielded the kick in Mustang territory, found a gap and returned it 40 yards for a third TD.

To cap off the surge, Dorrance got a three-yard TD run, part of a night where he put together 156 yards on the ground.

With that big early lead, Cazenovia eased off a bit - at least on offense. With Foster earning 13 tackles and Dorrance on his way to nine tackles, the Lakers continued to shut down the Mustangs until the third quarter, when it put things away.

Foster's second TD came on a one-yard plunge, while quarterback Jeff Hopsicker capped off one more drive with a five-yard scoring strike to Forest Blanchard. Chris Rogers converted all six of his extra points.

Cazenovia will be at home this Saturday to host a first-round Class C playoff game. There are 16 teams in the expanded playoff field, so the Lakers will have to win three times if it wants to get to the Carrier Dome for the Nov. 7 championship game.

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