Two football teams with explosive offenses waged a defensive battle last Friday.
Luke Weaver and Michael Chaires each intercepted a pass, and Weaver added a touchdown reception in the third quarter to lift Christian Brothers Academy to a 13-8 victory over Guilderland in a class AA quarterfinal game.
The defense did a great job, said CBA coach Jim Smith. "We looked to do some different things, and the kids responded."
"We were kind of anticipating a defensive battle going in," said Guilderland coach Dan Penna. "We waned to control their big players, and for the most part we did."
Weaver set up his touchdown catch by intercepting Guilderland's Greg Barcomb midway through the third quarter and running the ball back to the Dutchmen's 24-yard line. Six plays later, Weaver made a leaping catch on Jim O'Brien's 14-yard pass into the end zone to give CBA the lead.
"You can't cover the kid one-on-one. He just makes plays," said Smith.
Weaver's touchdown catch came several minutes after he caught a fourth-down pass at Guilderland's 1-yard line but missed the first down by two inches.
"I was mad (after missing the first down)," said Weaver. "I wanted that ball back."
Guilderland (5-3) still had plenty of time to get the go-ahead touchdown, but its offense never got in gear. One fourth quarter drive ended with Michael Chaires intercepting Barcomb near midfield, and another series ended with the Dutchmen turning the ball over on downs.
"(Barcomb) threw it up there, and I just made a good break on it," said Chaires.
CBA (5-3) also had trouble moving the ball, but it found a creative way to score its first touchdown in the second quarter. O'Brien handed the ball to tailback Joe Zappone, who then gave it to Chaires on a reverse. Chaires found an opening down the left sideline and took off on a 50-yard touchdown run. Ryan Kelly added the extra point to put the Brothers ahead 7-0.