DeWitt Standing in the hallway of the Christian Brothers Academy locker room, Deshawn Salter opened his mouth to speak. But before he could say a word, defensive line coach Joe Raegan walked by and chimed in.
“This is the best running back in the state of New York. Believe it.”
Salter was fresh off a 223-yard, two-touchdown performance which propelled host CBA (6-0, 4-0 league) to a 27-12 victory over Henninger (4-2, 3-1 league) Friday night at Alibrandi Stadium, and into first place atop the Class AA-2 standings.
The junior running back accounted for more than half of the Brothers’ 429 total yards, running through and around Black Knights defenders throughout Friday night.
On the other side of the ball, CBA shut down a lethal Black Knights offense which entered the game averaging 43.8 points per game.
Salter said this game was personal. Not only was it senior night, but CBA head coach Joe Casamento coached at Henninger for 20 years. Plus, current Black Knights head coach David Kline didn’t just coach alongside Casamento for part of that duration, but played under him as well.
Addressing his team after the game, it was clear this game was personal for Casamento as well.
“Gentlemen, listen to me,” Casamento began. “Not bad, not bad. We got ourselves together, got the ball, ran it right down their throats and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it.”
After an impressive 40-yard scamper on an earlier possession, Salter put CBA on the board with a 12-yard dash late in the first quarter.
Following a disastrous Henninger possession which included a broken play as wide receiver Sherron Brown ran into quarterback Keisean Scott, CBA took over at its own 30-yard line.
An 11-yard run from Dametrius Brown extended the drive and moments later, fullback Joey Pascarella took a misdirection dive 53 yards for a score with 9:42 left in the half.