Skaneateles football

Skaneateles fans cheer on the Lakers against Newark Valley Saturday in the NYSPHSAA regional game at Ty Cobb Stadium in Endicott. 

Glenn Gaston, Special to The Citizen

HIT: To the Skaneateles Lakers football team, which advanced to the state semifinal with a thrilling victory Saturday.

The Lakers defeated defending Class C champion Newark Valley 42-41 at Union-Endicott High School. When Skaneateles successfully defended a two-point conversion attempt in the game's final second, it snapped Newark Valley's 23-game win streak.

Special kudos to Skaneateles quarterback Patrick Hackler, who broke the state's single-season touchdown passing record when he tossed five TDs to reach 46.

Skaneateles will return to U-E on Saturday to play Cleveland Hill for the chance to be in the state final.

MISS: To the case of a tragedy in Cayuga County that now involves criminal charges.

Authorities have charged the 24-year-old driver with two counts of criminally negligent homicide and three counts of third-degree assault in connection with a June crash that killed two people, and left a third person paralyzed.

Police said the crash happened on Franklin Street Road when a North Syracuse woman attempted to pass a concrete truck in a no-passing zone near the crest of a small hill. She would end up colliding with a pickup truck coming in the other direction.

HIT: To Finn Bell, the Auburn fourth-grader who saved up money to buy the city a star for its official Christmas tree.

Finn was a toddler when his mother was murdered in 2011, but he has honored her memory with acts like this and others, such as when he donated toys and stuffed animals to the APD to give to children when they need comfort during an investigation.

Kelly Bell, Finn's grandmother and guardian, talked about why her grandson is so generous: "He knows that when he was a little baby and everything went wrong, this community was here for us. That's why we support Auburn all the way through. We're just trying to give back to the community what they gave to us."

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