Having cast the preliminaries aside, the Baldwinsville football team can now turn its attention to trying to topple Christian Brothers Academy and Liverpool, the two big favorites in the Class AA-1 division.
The Bees got another huge effort from tailback Malik Burks last Friday night at Fayetteville-Manlius on its way to a 49-27 victory over the Hornets.
Though he didn't quite reach the 301-yard total he got against West Genesee, Burks did reach 279 yards, plus four touchdowns, giving him nine TD's for the young season.
Yet for all Burks did, it was quarterback Niko Manning that gave the Bees its wake-up call.
B'ville did not have a good first quarter against an F-M team that had allowed 42 points to Liverpool in the first half of its Sept. 5 opener at the Carrier Dome.
Meanwhile, fired up in front of its home fans, the Hornets struck first, driving to B'ville's five-yard line before Kyle Greer took it home for the touchdown.
Still down 7-0 as the second quarter started, the Bees moved to the Hornets' 40. Again, F-M stacked the line, expecting Burks to get the ball.
Instead, Manning ran a keeper and, getting pitch-perfect blocking, went all the way for the touchdown. The extra point was missed, but the spark had been lit.
From there, the Bees dominated the rest of the half, eventually getting 28 points in that second period.
Three different times, B'ville drove into F-M territory. Each time, Burks turned it into points, scoring on runs of 25, 44 and 33 yards, and throwing in a two-point conversion after the first of those TDs.
Ahead 28-7 at the break, B'ville had to keep going, especially after Matt Moro's nine-yard scoring run early in the third quarter cut the margin to 28-14.
Burned there, the Bees' defense made up for it when, on F-M's next posssesion, it forced a fumble, and Nick Alenciewicz returned it five yards for a TD. Antonio Peck tacked on a three-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.