Cazenovia At least in the recent past, the Cazenovia football team found nothing simple or easy about confronting Class B East division rival Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.
That changed, though, on Saturday at Buckley-Volo Field, where the Lakers took full advantage of untimely Red Devils turnovers, and then turned to its multifaceted ground attack to pound its way to a season-opening 48-6 victory.
Two years earlier, the last Cazenovia home game against VVS required two overtimes and 94 points before the Lakers finally prevailed 50-44.
A new cast of Lakers would not have to stress as much this time around.
It all began to unravel late in the first quarter. Mostly thanks to Jake Wilson's 45-yard run, Cazenovia had driven to the Red Devils' one-yard line and were stopped on fourth-down-and-goal, Andrew Vogl stopped inches short of the goal line.
But VVS quarterback Matt McCoy fumbled the snap two plays later, the Lakers recovering at the one-foot line, and fullback Mike Nourse easily scored on the next snap.
Nourse returned to recover another Red Devils fumble at the VVS 24 in the last minute of the period. This time, it required all of two plays for Cazenovia to strike again as Wilson went 20 yards for the touchdown and Alex Sullivan's extra point made it 13-0.
Twice in the first half, the Red Devils drove into Laker territory, only to get stopped. And once those threats were ended, the Lakers' defense settled in as the first string did not allow a point, VVS only converting in the waning minutes against the reserves.
Meanwhile, the margin grew to 27-0 by halftime. Wilson, the Lakers' top returning runner, scored on a superb 25-yard run where he charged up the middle, slipped through three tackles and dragged two more past the goal line.
Then Sullivan, who had won a close battle for the starting quarterback job, put up his own bit of magic when, with 59.4 seconds left in the half, he scrambled from the VVS 15, going up the middle and then cutting back left until he outran defenders to the pylon for another TD.