All sorts of meaning surrounded the Liverpool football team's 29-12 victory over Cicero-North Syracuse Friday night at the new LHS turf stadium.
First, it meant that the Warriors get to keep the "Star Wars" Cup for the third consecutive year, a sign that it has, for the time being, taken control of this neighborhood rivalry.
Second, it pushed Liverpool closer to a Section III Class AA playoff berth, and, at the same time, lengthened the odds that CNS will get there.
The usual large crowd gathered - but only the Warrior partisans would be happy in the first half as Liverpool dominated on both sides of the ball.
Aggressive on defense, the Warriors registered a safety in the first quarter, Kyle Dalton getting credit, then got the ball back and moved to the Northstars' one-yard line before quarterback Luigi Barletta scored.
On the ensuing conversion, Connor Rogers, instead of kicking, took the snap and threw to Jaheem Hogan, good for two points that extended Liverpool's lead to 10-0.
Rogers inflicted more damage in the second quarter, catching a short touchdown pass from Barletta and adding a 35-yard field goal just before halftime. A pair of Bobby Broddus interceptions set up these scores.
CNS, staring at a 19-0 halftime deficit, did not surrender that quietly. It finally got on the board in the third quarter when Branden Lacey went 26 yards for a TD, the only points for either side in that frame.
It was up to Rogers to put things away in the fourth quarter. First, he drilled his second field goal of the night, from 32 yards out, to extend the Warriors' lead back to 22-6.
And though the Northstars put together one more scoring drive, Lacey going the final yard to make it 22-12, it missed the two-point conversion. Worse yet, when it tried an onside kick, Rogers grabbed it at the 50-yard line and ran it back for the clinching touchdown.
Lacey led both sides with 89 rushing yards on 13 carries, as CNS quarterback Corey Scanlon completed 15 of 24 passes for 165 yards. Liverpool tailback Tyland Thompson had 77 yards on 20 carries.
The Warriors go for three wins in a row this Friday at Nottingham, while CNS returns home to Bragman Stadium and must face state Class AA no. 3-ranked Baldwinsville for a 7 p.m. kickoff.