Lakers rally past Oneida, move to 5-0

If it was even possible, the Cazenovia football team showed more character in the aftermath of its epic double-overtime win over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.

A mere six days later, playing without top wide receiver Doyle Judge, and trailing in the fourth quarter at Oneida, the Lakers stepped up on both sides of the ball, making the crucial plays to beat the Indians 18-8.

By winning, Cazenovia, no. 7 in the latest state Class B rankings improved its record to 5-0 and stayed in first place in the Class B East division, and halted Oneida's own three-game win streak.

"They (our players) were tested, and they came out and did a nice job," head coach Tom Neidl said.

Winning a road game against a hot team in Oneida in any circumstance was daunting enough. To pull it off less than a week after the 50-44 duel with VVS, with defense in a starring role, made it even more special.

Judge had sustained a concussion in the VVS game. Kept out on this night, he watched as Cazenovia's receivers dropped a handful of Jeff Hopsicker's passes, adding to the difficulty.

What wasn't dropped, though, was Chris Giradina's intercepton of a Ryan Mosack pass midway through the first quarter, which thwarted an Oneida scoring threat. It led to Nick Christakos kicking a 21-yard field goal, which put the Lakers up 3-0.

It didn't stay there for long. Oneida took the ensuing kickoff and went 80 yards in nearly six minutes, Mosack throwing several times to Evan Watson while mixing in runs by Chris Chesebro and P.J. Tayntor.

On fourth down at the Lakers' four-yard line, Oneida went for it - and on a rollout, Mosack found Watson on the sideline for the touchdown. Chesebro, sprung by a crunching Matt Barlow block, ran in for two points to make it 8-3.

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