Skaneateles Lakers earn first New York State Football Championship with 28-25 win
High school football returned to the Carrier Dome Friday evening, as Section III's lone representative, the Skaneateles Lakers, met Holy Trinity in the Class C, New York State Championship Game.
Holy Trinity arrived in Syracuse out of Section II, which is home to the Albany area.
The Lakers have had plenty of good teams in the past, but this year's team seems to have a flare about it that has not ever been matched.
Patrick Hackler, a junior, has led the Lakers all season, passing for a New York State record 50 touchdown passes in a single season.
On Friday night, Hackler was up to his same old tricks again.
After trailing 6-0, the Lakers responded with a touchdown drive orchestrated by Hackler.
At halftime, Skaneateles led Holy Trinity, 14-12.
The second half began with a bang, as Hackler engineered yet another drive down the field to add some cushion to its lead, 21-12.
Hackler had already threw a touchdown pass to Nick Wamp in the first half, and the two hooked up yet again in the second half, giving Skaneateles a 28-12 lead.
However, Holy Trinity fought back to score twice, making it a 28-25 game.
But that's when the Pride's hope for recovering an onside kick failed, giving the win to the Skaneateles Lakers, 28-25.
"It [means] the world," Hackler said with a smile after the game. "It's what we've worked forward to. It's what we've worked hard for years and years, and especially going into this offseason, we knew we could do something special. A lot of credit goes to coach Eric Praiger, he's our strength and conditioning coach. He got us in amazing shape to play these 13 weeks with minor injuries. We're really thankful for some amazing coaches and some amazing players as well."
"I remember we were in the line over there and I'm looking at my coaches, and I'm like, 'we just won the state championship,'" Skaneateles head coach Joe Sindoni explained. "They're looking at me, like, 'yeah.' It's a bizarre -- really great feeling -- but it certainly hasn't sunk in yet."
Friday's State Championship was the first in the history of the Skaneateles football program.