Camillus Everything had to work right for the Liverpool football team to have a shot at derailing unbeaten, state no. 2-ranked Christian Brothers Academy in last Saturday’s Section III Class AA semifinal at West Genesee High School.
As it turned out, the Warriors made more than enough mistakes – and the Brothers seemed to turn every one of them into more points on the scoreboard, capitalizing on three Liverpool turnovers and pulling away for a 62-28 victory.
The game had the initial makings of a classic, as both teams scored two touchdowns in the first quarter. CBA struck first off a Justin Capoto interception that was deflected at the line of scrimmage by Aaron Donalson and picked off by Johnathan Stackhouse. Three plays later, running back Deshawn Salter rushed right up the middle for a three-yard touchdown.
Capoto rebounded on the next drive, going four-for-four for 57 yards and throwing a 26-yard TD pass to Ben Terzini. The Brothers executed its own 92-yard drive on its next possession, J.R. Zazzara throwing a 24-yard scoring strike to Colin McGraw, only to have the Warriors score immediately afterwards, as running back Jaydakis Scott broke free for a 74-yard score.
The game's turning point came on Liverpool’s next possession, right after the Brothers scored again on a five-yard scoring strike from Zazzara to Stackhouse to take a 21-14 lead with 11:10 to go in the half.
CBA's defense stymied the Warriors’ offense, forcing Liverpool to punt after only three plays. That three-and-out was the beginning of the end for the Warriors, as CBA’s Andre Dowdell returned the ensuing punt 56 yards for the score, doubling the Brothers’ lead to 28-14.
What happened near the end of the first half proved particularly damaging to the Warriors. Off a fake punt, Zazzara threw a 44-yard scoring pass to Donalson, and Liverpool fumbled the ensuing kickoff. CBA recovered and, two plays later, made it 41-14 on Zazzara's two-yard run.