Not since Labor Day weekend had the Cazenovia football team ventured outside town - and it hadn't played under Friday night lights in 2009, either.
Faced with those new sensations on Friday at Sauquoit Valley, the Lakers (no. 13 in the state Class C rankings) did just fine, keeping the Indians off the board until the fourth quarter and winning by a score of 31-8.
The short week of work and the hostile setting did nothing to prevent Cazenovia from solidifying its place atop the Class C South division with two weeks left in the regular season.
On its way to a 24-0 halftime lead, the Lakers hit on plays both big and small.
Cody Foster landed the only points of the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown run. When Sauquoit pinned Cazenovia at its own 17-yard line early in the second period, Zach Golden took care of that problem by racing 83 yards for a touchdown, making it 14-0.
And that wasn't all. Golden (who had 100 yards on the night) scored a second time on a one-yard run, and Chris Rogers added a field goal, his third of the season.
Working into the third quarter, Cazenovia added more points when Jeff Hopsicker threw a short TD pass to Justin Hoffman. It took Jason Bentley's fourth-quarter scoring pass to Tyler Harris to finally get Sauquoit on the board against the Lakers' defensive reserves.
Cazenovia honors its seniors at Homecoming this Saturday at 1:30, when it hosts Clinton at Buckley-Volo Field.
Also, a brief ceremony will honor Sam Volo, who passed away on July 31 of this year.
Volo coached the Lakers for nearly 30 years, 19 at the varsity level, before retiring in 1982. His teams won 137 games and nine Tri-Valley League championships, while Volo was named Tri-Valley Coach of the Year four times. Buckley-Volo Field was dedicated in honor of Sam, and former athletic director Max Buckley, in 1989.