When the Skaneateles football team returns home to Hyatt Stadium next weekend, the Class C West crown that it has held for the last two years will be on the line.
The Lakers remained undefeated in league play Friday night, when it welcomed Tyler Parr back to the field and put together a 28-14 victory over Port Byron/Union Springs.
And that sets up the first-place showdown next Friday between Skaneateles and Syracuse's Institute of Technology Central, who moved to 5-0 with a 28-7 victory over Canastota as the Lakers were busy fighting off the Panthers.
By combining with Union Springs, Port Byron moved into the Class C ranks this fall and had held its own in the first part of the regular season, going 2-2 by the time Skaneateles arrived.
As it showed up, the Lakers were facing a quarterback quandary. Parr, knocked out with a concussion in the team's Sept. 13 loss to Homer, was now cleared to play, but the Lakers had gone 2-0 with sophomore Devin Callahan under center.
It was Callahan getting the nod, but he and the Lakers' offense struggled throughout the first quarter as the Panthers made several defensive stops to fire up the home crowd.
In fact, it took the Skaneateles special teams to break the 0-0 deadlock in the second quarter. Taking a punt at his own 30-yard line, Connor Hill sped past Port Byron's coverage and sprinted all the way to the end zone, giving the Lakers a 7-0 lead.
Minutes later, Parr was in the game, and he had an immediate impact, driving Skaneateles to the Panthers' two-yard line before finding Collin Jones in the end zone with 1:08 left in the half. That, plus Colin Alexander's second successful extra point, had the Lakers up 14-0 going to the break.