Sep 26, 2006 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Those lucky enough to have satellites around the country that carry ESPNU will have the opportunity to watch the Christian Brothers Academy football team in its national television debut against the Corcoran Cougars.
And most of them will have no idea about how opportunistic – and lucky – the Brothers were to remain undefeated going into this showdown.
To say that CBA’s 41-27 victory over West Genesee last Friday night at Wildcat Stadium in Camillus was eventful would be an enormous understatement.
What began as just another blowout by the Brothers turned into a full-blown crisis by the end of the third quarter, when CBA had blown a 20-point lead and was in danger of seeing its 51-game regular-season win streak expire.
And then the lights went out – a fortuitous turn of events that allowed CBA to regroup, then put the furious Wildcats away.
All was normal in the early going. Three times in the first half, Jovan Miller broke loose for touchdowns, as his scoring runs of 27, seven and 23 yards, combined with a 33-yard TD pass from Mike Paulus to Leon Saddler, gave the Brothers a 27-7 lead.
But these were not the same West Genesee Wildcats that CBA had destroyed, 45-0, a year ago.
That became apparent when, late in the second quarter, Greg Whipple scored on a 22-yard run that slashed the Brothers’ lead to 27-14 by halftime.
Fired up by that score, WG dominated the third quarter, running right at the Brothers’ young, unproven defense. Ben Waldron got free for a 59-yard TD run, and he scored again later in the period on a 13-yard run.
Only a missed extra point after Waldron’s second TD kept the game tied, 27-27, but as the game ticked toward the final period, WG had all the momentum.
Just as the fourth quarter was to start, though, an electrical short took out most of the lights on the field, plus the scoreboard. With limited illumination, the game could not continue, so both teams went to the sidelines.
And they stayed on the sidelines for more than an hour. Attempts were made to restore the Wildcat Stadium lights, to no avail. Lights were turned on at West Genesee’s new Field Turf, adjacent to the stadium. Still, the game did not resume.
Not until the school tracked down a portable light stand used by WG’s marching band for nighttime rehearsals was there enough wattage to get things started again.
A full 80 minutes had passed, giving CBA all kinds of time to shake off the negative effects of its mid-game collapse. At the same time, WG had seen its tidal wave of momentum shut off, just like the lamps in the stadium.
Once things finally started again, CBA took charge. Paulus put his team back ahead with a 20-yard TD pass to Nick Trasolini, and after a big defensive stand, the Brothers drove to the clinching score, Miller getting his fourth touchdown from two yards out.
Late at night, with the victory in hand, CBA could finally start thinking about its turn in the national spotlight against Corcoran, which also happens to be a duel for first place in the Class AA-1 division.
Corcoran’s 3-0 start, all at home, includes wins over Cicero-North Syracuse, Baldwinsville and Troy LaSalle. Led by quarterback Darrin Hickson, the Cougars have averaged 30 points per game, with Hickson throwing for 277 yards and four touchdowns in the victory over LaSalle.