Though it took nearly 3 1/2 games, the Skaneateles football team finally met a crisis point late in the first half of Friday night’s game at Tully High School against the Southern Hills Storm.
Against the team that combined players from Tully, LaFayette and Fabius-Pompey, the state Class C no. 13-ranked Lakers had squandered most of an early 14-point lead and only led by a point due to missed conversion following Jake Edinger’s 42-yard touchdown run.
Then Southern Hills kicked off and Jake Wellington, receiving it at his own 28, picked up blocks and didn’t stop until he was in the end zone 72 yards later.
This single play inspired the Lakers on both sides of the ball, and Southern Hills never got close again as Skaneateles went on to a 42-13 victory that tightened its grip atop the Class C West division standings.
Southern Hills entered the night 2-1, and had scored 49 points in each of its previous two games, wins over Phoenix and Port Byron/Union Springs. Also it played home games on a grass field, a contrast to the fast Field Turf the Lakers had enjoyed in two home games plus a season-opening win at Jordan-Elbridge.
At first, none of this bothered Skaneateles, who put together a pair of first-quarter scoring drives, each of them capped when Pat Hackler, from the Storm’s 20, found Cross Bianchi in the end zone.
Gaining a 14-0 lead was typical of the Lakers’ early-season success. What wasn’t typical was having an opponent answer like Southern Hills did in the second period, starting with Edinger’s 53-yard scoring pass to Adian McKenney and then Edinger’s long TD dash.
Yet the score on Wellington’s kick return undid much of the Storm’s good work, and once halftime ended, the Lakers, with a 21-13 lead, set out to end the suspense.
Midway through the third quarter, Hackler, from his own 32, threw deep and found Nick Wamp, who went the rest of the way for a touchdown amid a night where he also converted all six of his extra-point kicks.
Then Skaneateles went to its ground game, wearing down the Southern Hills resistance as Areh Boni scored twice in the fourth quarter, on runs of five and 25 yards.
At 4-0 on the season, the Lakers are back home at Hyatt Stadium next Friday to face Altmar-Parish-Williamstown (1-3). Kickoff is at 7 p.m.