SYRACUSE Christian Brothers Academy football quarterback J.R. Zazzara and running back Deshawn Salter accounted for seven of CBA’s eight touchdowns in what would end up being a 56-32 blowout of the Union-Endicott Tigers in Friday night's Kickoff Classic opener at the Carrier Dome.
Zazzara threw for three touchdowns (two of which were to Salter) and ran for two more, before being replaced by back-up Joshua Brown with 4:50 left in the third quarter. Salter rushed for one score, returned a kickoff, and caught two touchdowns.
“We've got some talent,” head coach Joe Casemento said, “but we’re just trying to be as good as we can be.”
The game began with a bang, surprisingly by U-E. After a long kickoff by CBA’s Nolan Bower that backed the Tigers up to their own 10-yard line, running back Sammy Davis scurried for a 90-yard score. The Tigers missed the extra point, but still had their first and only lead of the game at 6-0.
“They rocked us with that first play,” Casemento said. “I was like, 'what was that?' Nobody does that to us."
And from that point forward, it was the Brothers doing most of the damage.
On CBA's first possession, Zazzara dropped a short pass to Salter in the flat on the right-hand side. Salter immediately broke a tackle and ran the rest of the way for a 27-yard score.
The next time the Brothers had the ball, Zazzara hit Andre Dowdell for a 30-yard score to make it 14-6 midway through the first quarter.
U-E stopped CBA on fourth down during the Brothers next possession, but cornerback Andrew Romagnoli picked off Tigers quarterback Joey Orlando on the next possession and ran 32 yards for the score, bringing the lead to 21-6.
The Tigers did make it back to the red zone early in the second quarter. Orlando scrambled out of the pocket and tossed a wobbly 20-yard pass to Justin Flint, and a roughing the passer penalty brought the Tigers to CBA’s two-yard line. Two plays later, Orlando sneaked into the end zone for the score.