CBA senior quarterback J.R. Zazzara (5) hurdles over West Genesee's Naes Howard on a third-quarter scramble during Friday night's game. Zazzara threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the state Class AA no. 2-ranked Brothers defeated the Wildcats 41-7.
DeWitt In order for any opponent to topple Christian Brothers Academy’s football team, an opponent cannot afford that many mistakes - something West Genesee can attest to after Friday night’s game at Alibrandi Stadium.
From ill-timed penalties to six turnovers to dropped passes, the Wildcats gave the state Class AA no. 2-ranked Brothers too many gifts, and CBA gladly accepted them, eventually pulling away for a 41-7 victory.
WG’s hopes of a shocker partially hinged on building upon the passing game that sophomore quarterback Dashon Turner unleashed when he threw four touchdowns in the first half of a 62-14 victory over Central Square a week earlier.
But it was Homecoming night at CBA. Adding to the festive atmosphere, alumni football players joined the current Brothers team on the field for the customary pre-game prayer, connecting past with present.
Right from the outset, WG hurt itself with errors. Will Northrop dropped a potential first-down pass on the opening drive. Then a personal foul on the Brothers’ first possession directly led to the first touchdown, J.R. Zazzara throwing a short pass to Dowdell from the 30, and watching Dowdell shake off two tackles and sprint to the goal line.
Aided by Pat Hanley stripping a possible interception from Gideon Dixon near midfield, the Wildcats made it first sustained march, mixing in runs and passes and reached the 20 before Dixon atoned in a big way, intercepting Turner’s pass in the end zone.
Yet another big penalty, a face mask, keyed CBA’s second scoring drive. Deshawn Salter went the final 41 yards for a touchdown, going to the sidelines on a toss, and then turning back to the middle, breaking several tackles as the Brothers’ margin grew to 14-0.
Settling down for a while, WG picked up defensive pressure, and it paid off. Early in the second period, Zazzara, facing another blitz, threw too long, and Colin Bevard picked it off, returning it to midfield.