Senior running Back A.J. Davis pushes for additional yards while opposing players pile on during a recent game at Buckley-Volo field in Cazenovia.
Photo by Pierce Smith.
Just as regular as the leaves turning in early October is the sight of the Cazenovia football team clinching another league title, with an eye on bigger things.
The Lakers went to Mexico Friday night and, unleashing an unstoppable ground game, turned back the Tigers 41-14 to lock up at least a share of the Class B East division regular-season crown.
Cazenovia can clinch the outright crown back home at Buckley-Volo Field next Saturday when it hosts South Jefferson, and it goes there with an offense that is rounding into top form.
Against Mexico, Lakers tailback Jake Wilson enjoyed the best game of his varsity career. In just 16 carries, Wilson amassed 258 yards, an average of better than 16 yards per attempt.
And the Tigers couldn't concentrate its defense on Wilson, either, because quarterback Kevin Hopsicker could break for long runs, too. Hopsicker would finish with 141 yards and score a pair of touchdowns.
The Lakers' duo didn't waste any time, accounting for all of the points as Cazenovia scored 21 unanswered points in the first quarter to seize control.
Hopsicker got it going with a 22-yard scoring run, and minutes later it was Wilson's turn, breaking loose on a 30-yard TD run that made it 14-0, but the biggest blow was yet to come.
Pinned on its own nine-yard line late in the period, the Lakers gave the ball to Wilson. Finding a gap, the senior tailback did not stop until he had reached the end zone 91 yards later.
Trailing 21-0, the Tigers got on the board with Jon Eastman's five-yard TD run in the second period. But Wilson, displaying his multiple skills, went back to throw and found Cullen Franz on a 25-yard scoring pass that helped the Lakers take a 28-7 lead to the break.
If there were any doubts, Hopsicker erased them in the third period when, from his own nine, he faked a handoff and took off on his own 91-yard TD jaunt, matching Wilson's earlier big play.
Not to be outdone, Cazenovia's other quarterback, Alex Sullivan, delivered in the fourth quarter with a 17-yard scoring pass to Mark Dewan.
Defensively, the Lakers had plenty of standouts. Nick Bobbett delivered a team-best 13 tackles, while Mike Nourse recorded 10 tackles. Joe Colligan and Matt Staiger both picked up interceptions to thwart Mexico drives.