Sep 09, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Nearly three years after it last basked in the glow of a gridiron victory, the Bishop Grimes football team was happy once again.
The Cobras went to New York Mills last Saturday afternoon and, by showing some boldness down the stretch, fought its way past the Marauders 21-20.
Grimes had last won a game in 2009. Following that, the program was shut down in 2010 due to lack of participation, only to return to the varsity level in 2011, where under new head coach Bill Cloonan the Cobras remained winless.
After a season-opening defeat to Westmoreland on Sept. 1, Grimes worked hard for its trip to Mills, and then faced wet, windy conditions that kept both sides in check during the first half.
In fact, the Cobras did not get any offensive points. But trailing 6-0 in the second quarter, Grimes’ defense forced a Marauders fumble deep in its own territory, and Bill Blasland returned it 78 yards for a tying touchdown.
The missed conversion left it 6-6 going into halftime, and once again Grimes fell behind, 12-6, as Mills’ Zach Griffith threw a TD pass to D.J. Kirilko.
An exciting fourth quarter saw Grimes move ahead, 13-12, when Casey Evans scored on a three-yard run and added his own extra point. Promptly, the Marauders answered, as Shawn Kula found the end zone from 11 yards out and Zach Griffith threw a two-point pass to Cody Mariotti.
Now trailing 20-13, the Cobras got a jolt when Evans returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards. Set up with a short field, quarterback Tyler Carbonaro took full advantage, driving his team to the Marauders’ six-yard line and running in from there himself.
So now it was 20-19, and Grimes lined up for what looked like a tying PAT. But it was a fake, and Carbonaro, the holder, got up and threw a pass to Connor Evans in the end zone for what proved to be the winning points.
With far less excitement, Christian Brothers Academy improved to 2-0 on the season last Friday in its home opener at Alibrandi Stadium, rolling past Utica Proctor 35-6.
Even CBA head coach Joe Casamento had admitted that, in recent years, his team drifted away from a pass-oriented attack in order to adjust to week-in, week-out Class AA opposition.
But the Brothers can still fling it deep, as Proctor found out early. In his second start, quarterback J.R. Zazzara made an instant impact.
Early in the first quarter, working from his own 20-yard line, Zazzara threw long and found Cody Radziewicz, who sped the rest of the way for an 80-yard touchdown, quickly putting the Brothers ahead 7-0.
From there, Zazzara would complete seven of his 13 passes for 213 yards, an average of more than 30 yards per completion. That effort was capped by an 18-yard TD toss to Jack Pfohl in the third quarter that made it 35-0. Pfohl had five catches for 103 yards.
On both sides of the ball, CBA dominated. Time after time, the Brothers’ quick, alert defense prevented the Raiders from establishing any sort of rhythm, forcing punts and turnovers throughout the first three periods.
Meanwhile, CBA’s ground game continued to deliver. Deshawn Salter carried the ball just seven times, but it added up to 103 yards and three touchdowns, most of it taking place in the first half.
Salter scored on runs of 18 and one yard and, to cap it off, took a handoff on his own 27 and sped toward the end zone, a 73-yard sprint that gave the Brothers a commanding 28-0 edge at halftime.
The big margin proved a stark contrast to CBA’s Aug. 31 opener at Nottingham, who kept it close until the fourth quarter before the Brothers prevailed.
Proctor, still hurting from a 42-30 defeat to Corcoran in its first game of the 2012 season, did not get on the board until the fourth quarter, when Javon Evans scored on a 33-yard run.
Now the Brothers turn to action in the Class AA-2 division, as it hosts Cicero-North Syracuse Friday night at 6:30. Bishop Grimes, meanwhile, is back home to go for two in a row against 2-0 Port Byron Saturday at 1 p.m.
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