With a prolific, explosive offense capable of putting up astronomical point totals, the Christian Brothers Academy football team became a dynasty in the early part of the millennium.
Now, the Brothers appear to be back to the top of the Class AA pile -- but it's doing the job in an old-fashioned way.
Combining tough runs and precision passing with a fast and ferocious defense, the Brothers are the lone remaining unbeaten AA team after last Friday's 25-0 shutout of Cicero-North Syracuse on Senior Night at Alibrandi Stadium.
While two other 4-0 teams, West Genesee and Rome Free Academy, suffered stunning defeats on the road (the Wildcats to Fayetteville-Manlius, the Black Knights to Baldwinsville), CBA made sure there wasn't going to be any surprises here.
From start to finish, the Brothers punished the Northstars on the defensive side, never letting CNS get past the 30-yard line even once. And on offense, CBA waited for good chances to score, then capitalized to put the Northstars away.
Both sides had all kinds of issues to deal with in the week leading up to the game, but CNS, whose 4-0 start had come against teams with a combined mark of 0-16, had far more problems.
To start with, a player on the team contracted Hepatitis A, forcing him off the field and likely meaning that all the other players will need vaccinations in the near-future.
Then came the injuries. Chad Dubiel, CNS's top wide receiver, broke his collarbone in the Northstars' Sept. 27 win over Auburn. Then, during the week of practice, top running back Vincent St. James suffered an ankle injury.
As Dubiel and St. James sat out, CBA had its own big issue. Quarterback Tyler Hamblin, who started all four of the Brothers' season-opening wins, went out after separating his shoulder in the Brothers' win against Liverpool on the same night Dubiel went down.