Upon first glance, the Christian Brothers Academy football team's debut appearance on its new artificial turf at Alibrandi Stadium Friday night was nothing less than smashing success.
Fajri Jackson accumulated five touchdowns, a career high, and the Brothers reeled off 42 unanswered points as it toyed with Auburn and cruised to a 48-21 victory over the Maroons.
That only told part of the story, though.
Barely eight minutes into what it hopes to be a ride back to the top of the Section III Class AA ranks, CBA saw a crucial element of that formula go to the sidelines, with an uncertain diagnosis.
Bryant Moore, an All-Central New York candidate both at cornerback and wide receiver, was returning a punt late in the first quarter when he got tackled - and came up limping.
Moore's knee was injured. Not only did he miss the rest of the game, a test will be done this week to determine the extent of that damage - and to see whether Moore returns this season.
Tough as the loss of Moore was, it didn't affect the Brothers in any way against Auburn, especially on the offensive side.
Jackson, on his way to 186 yards on 18 carries, found the end zone on runs of 27, one, 46 and 15 yards - all before halftime - and added a two-yard TD plunge early in the third quarter before the starters rested.
Auburn's defense could not stack up against Jackson, either, because quarterback Tyler Hamblin crossed them up with timely throws, with five completions on nine attempts for 154 yards - an average of more than 30 yards per catch. Hamblin also scored the game's first TD.
In just another hint of what CBA can do, Jared DePalma took a turn under center and, in the fourth quarter, dazzled the crowd by going 61 yards for the Brothers' final TD of the night.
All of the Maroons' points came in the second half against the Brothers' reserves, as the first string, led by
Mike Capella, John Greacen and Greg Thomson, shut out Auburn's best side.
CBA will go to Sunnycrest Field Saturday at 1 p.m. to face defending Class AA champion Henninger. Despite losing its entire starting backfield to graduation, the Black Knights started strong, winning 27-10 at Cicero-North Syracuse in its opener.