DeWitt With a Class AA-1 regular-season title safely tucked away, the Christian Brothers Academy football team can now turn its attention toward the Section III playoffs.
The Brothers completed an undefeated (6-0) run through the league Friday night at Alibrandi Stadium, taking out Rome Free Academy 41-24 as it scored 34 first-half points.
This was just CBA's third home game in 2011, and it was also Senior Night. The Brothers were determined not to let RFA, mired in one of the worst seasons in the program's long and proud history, spoil the occasion.
And before the Black Knights could even settle down, CBA had a 12-0 lead. Cam MacPheson got it started, throwing a 16-yard scoring pass to Cody Radziewicz, and moments later the Brothers' defense got on the board when Alex Rost returned a fumble 39 yards for a touchdown.
RFA did cut it to 12-7 on Rich Stapleton's two-yard TD run, but the Brothers' vaunted passing game, dormant for much of the season, struck again when MacPherson again found Radziewicz, this time for a 44-yard scoring pass.
Again CBA offered an emphatic answer in the second quarter, after the Black Knights moved within 18-13 with a long scoring drive that culminated with Aaron Tennant's one-yard TD plunge.
Mike Vavonese, taking the ensuing kickoff at his own five-yard line, zoomed past all the RFA coverage and didn't stop until he was in the end zone, a 95-yard scoring play that, in the long run, really broke the Black Knights' spirits.
Joey Pascarella's eight-yard TD run made it 34-13 going into halftime, and he also scored the only touchdown of the third quarter on a 15-yard run. RFA would put together two more drives of its own in the late stages, but the game was out of reach.
In next Friday's opening round of the AA playoffs, CBA will host Corcoran. The Cougars, under first-year head coach Tyrone Fisher, started 0-2, then won four straight games before a 42-6 defeat to Fayetteville-Manlius to close the regular season.
The Brothers, with a win, could play F-M in the semifinals, should the Hornets get past Liverpool.