Oct 30, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
It doesn’t take long to figure out how the Christian Brothers Academy football team got past Fayetteville-Manlius 34-14 in Saturday night’s Section III Class AA semifinal at Liverpool High School Stadium.
By taking care of the ball, and forcing the Hornets to do otherwise, the Brothers (8-1) earned its third consecutive trip to the championship game in the Carrier Dome, this time to play West Genesee (9-0). The final is next Saturday at 2 p.m.
Much of the tale centered around a familiar theme – turnovers. F-M made five of them, including three interceptions thrown by quarterback Wolfgang Shafer in the first quarter, which turned into 14 CBA points.
On the other hand, the Brothers’ man under center, Cam MacPherson, only threw one interception, in the fourth quarter, and otherwise was smooth and efficient, going 12-for-18 for 185 yards and finding six different receivers in the process.
“Cam is starting to see the field better, and he threw the ball pretty well tonight,” said CBA head coach Joe Casamento. “We’ve got our passing game coming around. We’ve got a lot of weapons.”
Cody Radziewicz had already recorded an interception when Dametrius Brown picked off Shafer and returned it 45 yards to the Hornets’ four-yard line late in the first quarter. Joey Pascarella scored on the next play, and CBA had a 7-0 lead.
Just before the period ended, Shane Murphy got CBA’s third interception. Evan Adamo, back from injury, caught a 19-yard pass to set up Deshawn Salter’s eight-yard TD run early in the second quarter, doubling the margin to 14-0.
The Brothers’ quick-strike ability showed up again when MacPherson found Adamo for a 39-yard completion and Mike Vavonese ran 17 yards to set up MacPherson’s own one-yard plunge that made it 20-0 with 4:24 left in the half.
Briefly, F-M regrouped, using Shafer’s 26-yard pass to Sawyer Dew to set up Sean Bright’s four-yard scoring run less than a minute before the break, which made it 20-7. But the Hornets’ reprieve was a short one.
Vavonese, who accounted for 127 of the Brothers’ 168 rushing yards, used a 28-yard scamper early in the third quarter to set up his team’s next TD. From the F-M 22, MacPherson went deep right and, though he was interfered with, Radziewicz still made a diving catch in the end zone.
Shafer hit Austin Perez on a 24-yard scoring pass late in the period, making it 27-14 and causing brief concern for the Brothers. But MacPherson’s 21-yard pass to Radziewicz on third-and-12 was followed, on the next play, by Vavonese sprinting 35 yards for the clinching score early in the fourth quarter.
Murphy tacked on a second interception as CBA’s defense also forced Shafer to fumble when Jon McGriff hit him on a blindside blitz and Pascarella recovered. Casamento said that his team’s speed forces opposing offenses to go at a quicker pace, which leads to the kind of mistakes that doomed F-M, whose season finished with a 6-3 record.
Now that CBA defense, and the rest of the Brothers, will deal with West Genesee, who is 9-0, but had to fend off a furious Utica Proctor rally to prevail 33-28 in the other semifinal.
The two teams scrimmaged in late August, and CBA knows that containing the Wildcats’ star senior quarterback, Matt Naton, is crucial if it wants to avoid losing a third straight sectional final. The Brothers lost to Baldwinsville in both the 2009 and 2010 title games.