It's getting to be a habit for the Christian Brothers Academy football team -- get a serious challenge from a quality opponent, then make all the plays necessary to prevail.
For the third week in a row, the Brothers saw an outcome in doubt, only to finish in front, in this case outlasting Liverpool 27-20 last Friday in a game played at Solvay's Earl Hadley Stadium, one of the Warriors' temporary home fields.
With the win, CBA improved to 4-0, and 2-0 in the Class AA-1 division, setting up back-to-back showdowns with the other 4-0 teams in the league, Cicero-North Syracuse and West Genesee, over the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, Liverpool dropped to 1-3, 0-2 in league play. The Warriors' forfeit of its Sept. 5 win over Baldwinsville, caused by the use of an ineligible player, was made official last week, adding to the pressure Liverpool felt as it took on the Brothers.
More than anything else, this game turned on the ability to run the ball. CBA had it, while Liverpool did not.
Fajri Jackson had the best game of his varsity career. Following the blocks of CBA linemen like Andy Phillips and Ted Barrett, Jackson had 222 yards on 19 carries, getting two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score on a 34-yard run with just 1:53 left in regulation.
By stark contrast, Liverpool junior Greg Bell, who had accumulated 529 yards in his first three games, got 58 yards on this night. Phillips, Garrett Barnard, Bryant Moore and the rest of the Brothers' defense concentrated on making sure Bell didn't use his 5-10, 210-pound frame to pound away at them.
Jackson provided the only points of a hard-fought first quarter. Taking a handoff at his own 37-yard line, Jackson found a seam and never got caught, racing 63 yards for a touchdown to give CBA a 7-0 edge.