Brothers 4-0 after late scramble

Christian Brothers Academy’s offense showed up just in time. A pair touchdowns inside the final seve

Christian Brothers Academy’s offense showed up just in time.

A pair touchdowns inside the final seven minutes and Torey Williams’ two-point catch lifted the resiliant Brothers to a 26-25 Class AA Empire Division win over Guilderland Saturday.

CBA little resembled the team that had produced over 40 points in each of its first three victories until the end, after Guilderland had opened up a 25-12 advantage.

“Guilderland came out and smacked us in the mouth,” said CBA coach Joe Burke. “We took some time getting off the mat. It took us a while to get going,

“Those guys [the Dutchmen] over there played a hell of a football game, but I’ve got to give credit to our guys. With the game on the line, we made some big plays.”

Cameron Wynn ran 10 yards for a touchdown, Peter Luizzi caught a 16-yard scoring pass from Teddy Cillis, and Luizzi hit Williams for the go-ahead points with 76 seconds left in cap a dramatic finish to the Brothers’ homecoming game.

CBA kicker Andrew Jensen nailed the left post after Wynn’s fourth-quarter touchdown run made it 25-18, and the Brothers opted for two following Luizzi’s touchdown grab.

“I asked the kids, and to a man, everyone said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ The kids wanted the win right there,” said Burke. “Flanker reverse pass. That’s what came down from the phones.”

Cillis handed off to Wynn, Wynn in turn handed off to Luizzi, and Luizzi pulled up and lofted the ball to Williams in the right corner of the end zone.

“I had trust in the coaches that they’d give us the right play,” said Luizzi, a senior wide receiver. “I saw the defenders suck up, and Torey was wide open in the end zone. I knew he was coming down with it as soon as I released it.”

“At first I saw a defender put his hand up. I thought he was going to tip it away,” said Williams. “He [Luizzi] threw the ball perfectly.”

Luizzi set up the play when he snared a Cillis pass in the right flat at the 10, broke a tackle and danced into the end zone to cap a seven play, 52-yard series. Cillis had a 15-yard run during thr drive, and later found Cody Zappone for 11 yards, one play before Luizzi’s second touchdown of the game.

CBA joined fellow Empire Division representatives Shenendehowa and Ballston Spa as Section II’s only unbeaten Class AA teams.

“Going into the fourth quarter, everyone got that stare in their face. We were all like, ‘We’ve got to go. This is it,’ ” said Cillis, CBA’s senior quarterback. “Everybody put it together. If we didn’t win this, we go home 3-1. No one wanted that.”

“We practice our two-minute offense,” said Williams, a senior wide receiver. “That’s bas­ically what it was. We kept punching them.”

The Dutchmen (1-3, 1-3) landed a bunch of blows over the first three quarters, and put together four superb touchdown drives while containing the Brothers (3-0, 4-0). Guilderland quarterback Tim O’Connor ended two of those drives with scoring runs, found Connor Drislane with a touchdown pass, and Tony Stanish also gained the end zone.

O’Connor made the game’s only successful conversion with a kick to give his team a 7-0, first-quarter lead, before CBA’s two-pointer at the end.

“As a team, we look at this one as a game of lost opportunities,” said Guilderland coach Dan Penna. “We needed to continue some drives and convert extra points.”

CBA drove 82 yards on six plays for its first fourth-quarter score, that series featuring Cillis passes of 31 yards to Wynn and 37 yards to Luizzi. After Wynn scored with 6:25 left, CBA failed on an an onside kick attempt, but the Brothers stopped the Dutchmen on four plays to get the ball back.

“Our game plan was to pressure their quarterback and contain the option,” said Penna. “We did that until the end.”

CBA only had 14 offensive plays in the first half, including a 21-yard reception by Pete Rustowicz, which was followed by Zappone’s 30-yard touchdown sprint to make it 7-6. Luizzi returned a punt 64 yards for second-quarter touchdown to get the Brothers within 13-12.

O’Connor scored on a one-yard sneak to cap Guilderland’s first drive of the game, passed nine yards to Drislane in the second period, and bolted 15 yards for a touchdown to give the Dutchmen a 19-12 advantage with 42 seconds left in the half. Guilderland padded its lead on Stanish’s one-yard run in the third.

O’Connor completed 19 of 29 passes for 194 yards, and ran 14 times for 67 yards. Stephen Polsinelli caught eight passes for 78 yards, including a 29-yarder and a 35-yarder during Guilderland’s first and last scoring drives.

Cillis was 9-for-15 passing for 134 yards, and Wynn led all ground gainers with 73 yards on 13 carries.

Guilderland 7 12 6  0 — 25

CBA 6  6 0 14 — 26

G — O’Connor 1 run (O’Connor kick).

C — Zappone 30 run (kick failed).

G — Drislane 9 pass from O’Connor (kick failed).

C — Luizzi 64 punt return (kick failed).

G — O’Connor 15 run (kick failed).

G — Stanish 1 run (pass failed).

C — Wynn 10 run (kick failed).

C — Luizzi 16 pass from Cillis (Williams pass from Luizzi).

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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