Oct 26, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Whether in the regular season or post-season, the Christian Brothers Academy football team’s template is a consistent one – make big plays, overwhelm the opposition, and take care of the tough part in as efficient a manner as possible.
The undefeated, state no. 2-ranked Brothers offered another primer in Friday night’s opening round of the Section III Class AA playoffs at Alibrandi Stadium, quickly leaving Auburn behind as it cruised to a 42-14 victory over the Maroons.
That win sets up what is sure to be an intense AA semifinal next Saturday at 1 p.m at West Genesee High School, pitting CBA (8-0) against Liverpool (6-2), who has won five in a row and blanked West Genesee 28-0 in its opening-round game. The winner goes to the Carrier Dome Nov. 9 for the final against Fayetteville-Manlius or Henninger.
Of course, Auburn was the first obstacle. A week earlier, the Maroons had lost by a single point (35-34) to the area’s other unbeaten AA side, F-M. The Brothers were not about to let that happen to them.
Auburn fumbled on its first possession. CBA recovered and, four plays later, had a 6-0 lead as, from midfield, J.R. Zazzara threw a long pass that Andre Dowdell hauled in for a 42-yard touchdown.
Then Deshawn Salter took his turn. The senior tailback scored from 18 yards out late in the opening period, with Zazzara adding a two-point run, and early in the second period Salter returned to the end zone on a 12-yard sprint that, with Nolan Bower’s extra point, extended the lead to 21-0.
Zazzara went to the air more in this game, constantly burning Auburn’s secondary as he threw 39 yards to Tim Corapi on one drive and 37 yards to Colin McGraw on another drive, each of them setting up short TD runs by Zazzara late in the first half that made the score 35-0 at the break.
Then, to cap off his 10-for-18, 285-yard effort, Zazzara threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Aaron Donalson in the third quarter. With the score 42-0, Zazzara joined Salter and the other CBA starters on the bench.
The big margin allowed CBA head coach Joe Casamento to use all 48 of his players on the roster, a common occurrence, and one the Brothers would not mind repeating as the post-season wears on.
Liverpool figures to test those plans. Back on Sept. 20, the Warriors were 1-2 after surrendering 42 second-half points in a bitter 49-37 defeat to F-M.
Since then, Liverpool has reeled off five straight wins, deftly mixing a passing attack anchored by senior quarterback Justin Capoto with the running of sophomore tailback Jaydakis Scott. Plus, the Warriors’ defense has vastly improved, as evidenced by forcing six West Genesee turnovers in the playoff opener.