Skaneateles sports fans can take pride in the brand-new, all-weather artificial turf field that made its debut Friday night when the football Lakers hosted South Jefferson.
But while the field drew praise, Skaneateles could not deliver a victory on this night, kept off the board until the fourth quarter of a 42-7 loss to the Spartans.
There had been a slight delay in the unveiling of the turf, forcing Skaneateles to play its opener Sept. 5 at Marcellus - where it lost a wild 45-29 decision to Vernon Verona Sherrill.
With a veteran offense led by senior quarterback Tom Schoener, the Lakers had to feel good about its chances against South Jefferson, who dropped its opener to Watertown. Add to it the charged-up atmosphere and the new field, and it had a chance to be magical.
It quickly became apparent, though, that all the magic lay with the Spartans - especially with tailback Jeff Chartrand, who burned the Lakers for 212 yards
And it was Chartrand who put up the first-ever points on the new field with a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, giving South Jefferson a 7-0 lead.
With Skaneateles worried about Chartrand, it was fellow back Kenny Hall who broke loose for a 44-yard run to the end zone in the second period, and the Spartans took a 14-0 edge to the break.
Chartrand returned in the third quarter for a 12-yard TD run, making it 20-0, and scored on a 55-yard sprint in the fourth quarter, the last of three scores South Jefferson used to put the game away.
Finally, the Lakers got on the board when Schoener hit Brandon Barron on a 58-yard TD pass.
When the Lakers (0-2) go to Chittenango Friday night, both sides will be looking for their first win, since the Bears have taken losses to Marcellus and Westhill so far.