No matter a football team's history or its past success, there's always some sense of mystery about how it will fare when a new season gets underway.
With Cazenovia, though, there was nothing mysterous about the way it pummeled Altmar-Parish-Williamstown on Saturday afternoon in the course of a 49-0 victory on the Rebels' home field.
Looking to improve on last year's 7-2 mark and appearance in the Section III Class C semifinals, Cazenovia scored three times in each of the first two periods, wiping out the suspense quite early.
Mostly, the Lakers stuck to the ground game in the first quarter as three different players netted touchdowns - Zack Golden on a four-yard run, Cody Foster on a 29-yard run, and Chad Dorrance on a 21-yard run.
This gave the Lakers' new quarterback, junior Jeff Hopsicker, lots of time to settle into the rhythms of a varsity game, knowing that his ground game was dependable and that the Lakers defense would stuff APW at every turn so it could quickly get the ball back.
In the second quarter, Hopsicker got a chance to shine. First, he threw a 49-yard TD pass to Dorrance, then returned to Dorrance for an 11-yard scoring strike minutes later.
Whether it was creating big holes for the runners to go through, or protecting Hopsicker, the new Lakers' offensive line of Tom Toole, Jake Adolfi, Connor Ryan, Tyler Gladle and Jake Ayer dominated the line of scrimmage.
At the same time, Foster, Travis Mims and Clancy Kemp led the defense in yet another shutout.
Just before halftime, Hopsicker ran six yards for his own touchdown, making it 42-0 at the break. Chris Rogers would go seven-for-seven on extra points, and with the starters resting, Xavier Coates added a five-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
Cazenovia gets its home opener at Buckley-Volo Field Saturday at 1:30 against Canastota, who put a big scare into Class C favorite Bishop Ludden in last Friday's opener, leading in the fourth quarter before the Gaelic Knights prevailed 38-28.