But the no. 4 seed Brothers would reverse the script in last Saturday’s Class C quarterifnal, scoring twice in that last minute, including Jack Zerillo’s tally with 1.7 seconds left, to prevail 14-13 and bring a stunning end to the no. 5 seed Mustangs’ superb season.
A similar thing happened when the Brothers met Marcellus on this same Alibrandi Stadium turf nine days earlier. Trailing the Mustangs by one in that May 8 game, CBA scored twice late in regulation, and handed the vistors a 9-8 defeat.
They were in close to the same spot here, Marcellus leading no. 4 seed CBA 13-12 and possessing the ball with less than two minutes to play, and the Brothers out of time-outs. All the Mustangs had to do was hang on to the ball, and it would advance.
Applying heavy pressure, CBA forced a turnover and rushed down the field. A series of passes set up Jack Jeschke, in front of the net, who beat Jake Lilly and earned the tying goal with 53.3 seconds left.
CBA’s Drew Brooks won the ensuing face-off, giving the Brothers the last possession of regulation. With the Marcellus defenders determined to cut off top CBA scorer Cody Radziewicz, the ball went to Braedon Gait, whose shot was off target - but Zerillo fought his way to the ball and put home the game-winner less than two seconds before the horn.
So ended a wild, exciting contest that went through several phases. In the initial phase, both defenses were overwhelmed amid a blazing pace that CBA wanted to set, as it took a 6-3 lead late in the first quarter, only to have Marcellus rally and tie it, 6-6, before the period was done.
Once Marcellus grabbed an 8-7 lead early in the second quarter, though, it slowed things down, using longer possessions to keep the ball away from the Brothers' formidable group of attackers.