After losing games to Oakfield-Alabama, Pembroke and Attica, the Alexander football team has found the right equation to win in the Genesee Region League.
The Trojans play a physical style of football that involves pounding away with the ball on offense, are attempting to force turnovers on defense and - most importantly - making all the right moves on special teams.
Alexander won for the second consecutive week and are now 2-3 after beating Elba/Byron-Bergen 28-13 Saturday night in the first game ever played under the lights in Elba.
The Trojans spoiled Elba/Byron-Bergen's homecoming, but it didn't take away from the cool atmosphere of seeing a game in Elba played under lights, which did an excellent job of lighting the middle part of the field.
It almost wasn't spoiled as the two teams played a pretty close first half.
The two squads exchanged punts on their first possessions and a special teams mistake by Elba/Byron-Bergen on the team's second possession proved costly.
The snap sailed over the punters head and the Lancers picked it up and ran to their own 30-yard line.
Alexander had a couple of decent running plays before Jay Schaefer ran one in from six yards out. The extra point was missed.
Elba/Byron-Bergen's Zach Green then returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. Again, the kick failed and the score was tied at 6 after the first quarter.
Alexander coach Dave Radley wanted to make sure I mentioned kicker/punter Lucas Czechowski in my preview this week and for good reason - he came up big.
His first big kick was a 22-yard field goal early in the second quarter that put the Trojans up 9-6.
Elba/Byron-Bergen missed a field goal later in the half and that was the score at intermission
Alexander had a long drive to open the second half - aided by some costly Elba/B-B penalties - that led to another Schaefer touchdown, this time from two yards out. The kick made the score 16-6.
The Lancers scored on another big play as Green rumbled 61 yards for a TD. The extra point brought Elba/Byron-Bergen to within three points.
Alexander marched down the field, going 68 yards down to the Elba/B-B 1 with a long kickoff return and a key pass from Zach Burke to Czechowski. But the Trojans fumbled the ball away and the Lancers took over deep in their own territory near the end of the third quarter.
Green broke off a 15-yarder, but the drive stalled and the Lancers had to punt again.
For the second time in the game, the snap sailed over the punter's head. This time it went through the end zone for a safety.
Alexander got the ball back and was moved into field goal territory because of an Elba/B-B facemask call.
Czechowski hit the 22-yard kick to make the score 21-13.
Ryan Piechocki had a key sack and forced Elba/B-B into a passing situation where Jordan Leitten took advantage, intercepting a pass at the 20-yard line.
Mike Woodrow had a 4-yard run a few plays later to make it a two touchdown game.
Leitten capped off the victory with another interception in the closing seconds, allowing the Trojans to take a knee and run out the clock.
Elba/Byron-Bergen falls to 1-4 and the biggest crowd to attend a game in the town of Elba in years was treated to a cool homecoming experience. But the team will have to work on limiting penalties and making huge mistakes on special teams if it is going to beat Notre Dame or Bishop Walsh in the final two weeks of the season.
Alexander is now 2-3 and will wrap up its regular season with a home game against Barker next Saturday. The Trojans were the No. 4 seed in the Section 5 Class D playoffs before the win and should move up to No. 3 with Avon's loss to Le Roy last night combined with the victory.