What Bishop Ludden’s football team hoped, going into last Friday’s game against visiting Skaneateles, was that the enthusiasm of a home crowd and the excitement of playing on television would translate into an upset over the defending Section III Class C champions.
And the Gaelic Knights would have great moments – just not enough of them, though, as the Lakers, pulling away in the second half, prevailed by a score of 26-12 to drop Ludden’s record on the season to 1-3.
Each of the last two years, it was the Gaelic Knights that gave the Lakers as much trouble as anyone in C West, including a pair of 2012 meetings where Skaneateles had to come from behind to win the season opener, and then top Ludden again in the Section III Class C-1 title game.
Stakes were slightly smaller here, but the Lakers still found itself in trouble early, unable to generate any sort of chances against Ludden's defense.
Worse yet, the Gaelic Knights struck a big play to go in front 6-0, Conlan McGuire throwing deep and finding Cameron Beauford for a 70-yard touchdown before the extra point was missed.
It took until the second quarter for Skaneateles to get on the board. Devin Callahan, making his second consecutive start at quarterback in place of the injured Tyler Parr, mixed things up in the first scoring drive that led to Cameron Mercado's three-yard TD run and Colin Alexander's go-ahead PAT.
Leading 7-6, the Lakers drove again, and when Callahan threw downfield and found Connor Hill for a 35-yard scoring pass, that, plus Alexander's PAT, gave Skaneateles a 14-6 lead.
Ludden wasn't done with big plays, though, as Donovan Card broke loose through the Laker secondary on a 65-yard sprint to the end zone. When the tying two-point try was stopped, Skaneateles was still in front, 14-12, going to halftime.