Perhaps in seasons past, the absence of its top quarterback would prove catastrophic for a Christian Brothers Academy football team that leaned so much on its vaunted passing game.
That isn't the case now, as Cody Radziewicz smoothly took over J.R. Zazzara's duties and got plenty of help from the defense, too, in the Brothers' 42-0 shutout of Central Square Friday night at Alibrandi Stadium.
Moving to 5-0 on the season, CBA, who's moved up to no. 12 in the state Class AA rankings, also set up a first-place showdown with visiting Henninger next Friday at 6:30 to see who will claim the AA-2 division regular-season title.
Henninger is also 3-0 in league play (4-1 overall). The Black Knights feature a high-octane offense that, in its latest outing, blitzed past Cicero-North Syracuse 54-13 as Chris Hicks, Keisean Scott and Romero Collier each scored two touchdowns.
The Brothers will go to that game without Zazzara, sidelined due to illness. Radziewicz, a two-way threat at wide receiver and defensive back, took snaps in practice, and then took to the field Friday against a Central Square side still in search of its first win in 2012.
CBA didn't show much mercy, picking up all of its points in a first-half offensive blitz where all of the team's tools were on display.
Radziewicz, displaying his speed out of his new position in the backfield, took off on a 20-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter. Another scoring drive quickly followed, Deshawn Salter finding the end zone from nine yards out.
Even the Brothers' special teams chimed in, as Andre Dowdell took a Red Hawks punt at his own 35, wove past the coverage and sped 65 yards to six more points, and Nolan Bower's extra point (he went six-for-six on the night for PAT's) made it 21-0 going to the second quarter.