SYRACUSE Though more important contest lie ahead for the Christian Brothers Academy football team, it still remained important for the Brothers to get a quick start.
And the Brothers did so, though it needed all 48 minutes to fend off a serious challenge from Nottingham and prevail 28-14 last Friday night on the Bulldogs' home turf.
The two neighboring schools played again this fall despite Nottingham's move from Class AA to the Class A American division. Now, as then, the Bulldogs made sure the Brothers worked hard.
In fact, Nottingham, who began practice one minute after midnight on Aug. 13 (the first possible time it could take the field), struck the first big blow, thanks to a big pass play.
From his own 37-yard line, Bulldogs quarterback Marty Clanton went deep, and found Tyquon Hightower, who outran CBA's normally stout defensive backs and finished off a 63-yard touchdown play.
Trailing 7-0, the Brothers regrouped and, led by quarterback J.R. Zazzara (who was making his first career start), moved to Nottingham's six-yard line, from where Joey Pascarella scored. Nolan Bower's extra point, the first of four successful PAT's, tied it 7-7.
Gradually, CBA's defense began to settle in, keeping Nottingham off the board through the game's middle stages. Still, the Brothers could not take full advantage, only getting a four-yard TD run from Demetrius Brown in the second quarter.
So the Brothers clung to a 14-7 lead going to the final period before its relentless running game finally led to some clinching points. Zazzara scrambled five yards for one TD, and Deshawn Salter took off 10 yards for his only score of the night.
Salter led CBA with 112 yards on 10 carries. Zazzara threw for 70 yards and ran for 60 more, while Cody Radziewicz and Ben Capella each intercepted passes from Clanton.