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Football Lakers, Bears win season openers

Caz outscores South Jefferson; Chittenango handles Phoenix

Cazenovia Laker captains Tanner Whiteman, left, and Alex Szlamczynski, lead the team off the field at South Jefferson after Lakers’ season-opening win.

Cazenovia Laker captains Tanner Whiteman, left, and Alex Szlamczynski, lead the team off the field at South Jefferson after Lakers’ season-opening win. Patricia Christakos

— Even before school started, both the Cazenovia and Chittenango football teams found themselves quite happy in the wake of season-opening victories.

Taking a trip to Adams, the Lakers, despite all sorts of new faces in its lineup, still managed plenty of production as it beat South Jefferson 41-22.

This happened just hours after the Bears, in its opener at Phoenix, used a late surge to get away from the stubborn Firebirds and prevail 27-6.

The departure of more than 20 seniors from last year's Section III Class B championship squad left Cazenovia head coach Tom Neidl with more work to do than normal - or so it appeared.

Names may change, but the Lakers' system remains quite effective, as it showed again Friday by holding the Spartans without an offensive score until the fourth quarter.

Cazenovia led 13-7 after one period, Andrew Vogl opening the scoring with a nine-yard touchdown run and Jake Wilson following it up by going 33 yards for a TD of his own to make it 13-0 before Mitch Modlin returned a kickoff 85 yards to get the Spartans on the board.

Over the next two periods, though, the Lakers registered 21 unanswered points, its defense settling in to shut down anything South Jefferson tried while the margin grew to 34-7.

Vogl and Wilson both had their second TD's of the night, Vogl on a 20-yard run, Wilson on a 40-yard sprint, while Kevin Smith added his own 20-yard TD run early in the third quarter.

Darian Smith sealed the victory in the final period, breaking loose for a 42-yard scoring run. Kickers Doyle Judge and Nick Christakos combined to make five of six extra points.

Chittenango, meanwhile, had a little more difficulty putting points on the board in its opener at Phoenix, the first of many new opponents the Bears have to deal with after moving to the Class B West division.

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