DeWitt Though it wasn't easy, Christian Brothers Academy's football team learned on Friday night that it doesn't have to lean entirely on its defense if it wants to reclaim the Section III Class AA crown.
The unbeaten, state no. 6-ranked Brothers won a shootout over Utica Proctor, 56-33, Friday night in the opening round of the AA playoffs at Alibrandi Stadium. The win earned the 8-0 Brothers a semifinal contest against West Genesee next Saturday at Liverpool High School.
After scoring an early touchdown, CBA found itself trailing 14-7 midway through the second quarter. Proctor quarterback Jordan Treen threw a pair of touchdown passes to Naronn Harvey.
The Brothers responded right away. CBA drove 65 yards and pulled even when quarterback J.R. Zazzara hit running back Deshawn Salter with a 33-yard scoring pass.
CBA took the lead for good later in the second quarter. Two plays after Proctor failed to get a punt away, Salter capped a 19-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, and the Brothers were up 21-14 at the break.
They would also trade third-quarter scores. The Brothers struck first when Salter bulled over from two yards away. But Proctor answered again as Treen found Derren Lilly from 14 yards out to make it 28-21.
Saving its best work for the end, the Brothers dominated the fourth quarter, scoring 28 points.
Zazzara’s one-yard run got things started. Joey Pascarella zipped in from 11 yards. Andre Dowdell caught a 47-yard pass from Zazzara. And Salter rumbled in from nine yards away.
Salter had a big night. The junior carried the ball 28 times for 231 yards.
“He’s such a talent,” CBA coach Joe Casamento said. “He’s so dependable. He’s a hard-nosed kid.”
After the game was done, Casamento concluded his post-game speech by telling his squad they’ll have to play better against West Genesee.