Vivian put CBA back in the lead later in the second quarter with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Reilly and was looking for more in the closing seconds when Bethlehem's Kevin Ray intercepted his pass and returned it 95 yards for a score. Smith missed the extra point, though, which allowed the Brothers to enter the locker room with a 14-13 lead at halftime.
Smith made amends for his missed extra point by making a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter that gave the Eagles a 16-14 lead, but Reilly broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run later in the period to put the Brothers back in front. CBA's defense then held the lead in the fourth quarter to eliminate Bethlehem from playoff contention.
The Brothers still needed some help from Albany Saturday to lock up fourth place and the final playoff berth in the Empire Division. The Falcons obliged by building a 35-14 lead on Saratoga and holding on for a 35-34 victory.
The Albany-Saratoga result was bittersweet for Gormley, who is a friend of Saratoga head coach Terry Jones.
"I didn't really wish anything bad on Terry. I just looked at the score," said Gormley. "I didn't even go to the game. Some of my players went to the game and gave me updates."
Still, Saratoga's loss means that CBA gets a playoff berth and a first-round match-up against Liberty Division champion LaSalle Friday in Troy.
"We're looking forward to it," said Gormley. "We're two Christian Brothers schools, and when you get two Christian Brothers schools together on a Friday night, it can be very entertaining."
Colonie is also heading to the Section II playoffs, courtesy of its third-place finish in the Liberty Division. The Garnet Raiders (4-2 division, 4-3 overall) locked up their playoff berth two weeks ago with a victory over Niskayuna.