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Caz football blanks Oneida, seizes first place

Lakers' defense shows improvement in 26-0 win

Cazenovia linebacker Carter Woodworth (39) slams Oneida quarterback Rory McCarthy to the grass as McCarthy attempted to run out of the pocket in Saturday's game. Woodworth and the Lakers' defense would pitch a shutout as it beat the Indians 26-0 in the Class B West first-place showdown.

Cazenovia linebacker Carter Woodworth (39) slams Oneida quarterback Rory McCarthy to the grass as McCarthy attempted to run out of the pocket in Saturday's game. Woodworth and the Lakers' defense would pitch a shutout as it beat the Indians 26-0 in the Class B West first-place showdown. Adam Walburger

— A rare Hopsicker fumble late in the period set up the Indians in Cazenovia territory. Oneida drove to the Lakers' 23, where on third down Rory McCarthy (who happens to be Hopsicker's first cousin) threw a screen pass to Cafalone, who rumbled toward the Lakers' goal line.

Just as Cafalone reached out to try and get the ball past the goal line, he was stripped, the ball falling through the end zone and out of bounds. Instead of an Oneida touchdown, Cazenovia had a touchback, and the Indians never fully recovered.

From that spot, Cazenovia moved 80 yards, the key blow a 39-yard pass from Hopsicker to Jake Shaffner up the middle. Vogal went two yards for the score, and though Ackerman's PAT was missed, Cazenovia still had a 13-0 lead, which stood until halftime.

Any hope the Indians possessed went away for just that reason - possession. Oneida only had the ball for two-plus minutes of the third quarter, unable again to move the ball as Cazenovia continued to pound away.

Twice, the Lakers had long drives in this period. One stalled out, but another covered 70 yards, 12 plays and six-plus minutes, with Hopsicker and Vogl gaining extra yards behind the line of Nannery, Pat Karmis, Brad Lucas, Reed Lucas and Cody Westfall (back from an injury that sidelined him early this season). Vogl went the final yard for his third TD of the day.

Mixing up runs and passes, the Lakers, off a Nannery recovered fumble, had a short drive to is last toudchdown, scored by Woodworth on a five-yard run - a fitting reward for Woodworth, whose work as a blocking back has helped spring Vogl and Hopsicker for plenty of other big runs.

Vogl finished the day with 133 yards on the grounds, while Hopsicker ran for 80 yards while overcoming the muddy conditions to complete seven of 11 passes for 119 yards.

Hopsicker and Noah King would both tack on late-game interceptions, and the Lakers could celebrate at least a tie for the league title, which it might not claim outright until it plays Vernon-Verona-Sherrill on Oct. 19 in the regular-season finale.

In the meantime, the Lakers will pay a visit to Adams on Friday to take on South Jefferson for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Spartans are 1-4 and coming off a 41-27 defeat to Camden.

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