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Brothers’ defense nearly flawless in shutout of C-NS

CBA only allows one first down, improves to 3-0

— No football team will ever reach perfection, though they all strive for it.

Yet Christian Brothers Academy nearly reached that ideal spot, at least from a defensive standpoint, during Friday night’s 21-0 victory over Cicero-North Syracuse at Alibrandi Stadium.

In improving to 3-0 on the season, the Brothers, who were no. 17 in the first state Class AA rankings of the fall, gave itself plenty of motivation, even though the outcome against the Northstars was decided early in the second half.

CBA’s defense did not surrender a single first down to C-NS in the first three periods. And it almost went all the way with that streak before the Northstars finally gained 10 yards to move the chains in the game’s final minutes.

That fact overshadowed all the other considerations on this wet evening, which included a weather delay and lots of rain, which all but grounded CBA’s passing attack.

That didn’t prove a problem, though, for quarterback J.R. Zazzara. The Syracuse University-bound lacrosse star is growing comfortable within the parameters of the Brothers’ sophisticated attack, and he knew that, on this night, he didn’t need to throw the ball much.

So Zazzara turned to his running ability, and burned C-NS often. With the game still 0-0 in the second quarter, Zazzara, from the Northstars’ 16, took off and found the end zone. Nolan Bower’s extra point made it 7-0, where it stood at halftime.

With C-NS completely stymied, the Brothers tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter, both of them scored by Zazzara, who finished off one drive with a one-yard plunge and went 43 yards for the final TD of the night.

Now CBA has a short week to get ready for Thursday night’s long-anticipated trip to Camillus to face West Genesee, their first encounter since last November’s Section III Class AA final won by the Wildcats 57-35. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be telecast by Time Warner Cable Sports.

WG started with back-to-back one-point losses to Clarence (34-33) and Fayetteville-Manlius (14-13), but rebounded to top Central Square 46-28 in the Class AA-2 division opener behind running back Naesean Howard’s 274 yards and six touchdowns.

Howard gives CBA’s defense its biggest test yet, along with a chance to atone for the point barrage it gave up to the Wildcats in the Carrier Dome nearly 11 months ago.

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