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Colonie beats CBA in resumption of new town rivalry

There may be a new crosstown rivalry brewing in Colonie.

Christian Brothers Academy and Colonie battled tooth and nail before the Garnet Raiders pulled out a 29-20 victory over the Brothers in last Friday's season opener.

It was step one. Both teams were getting their feet wet, said Colonie coach Mike Ambrosio.

"It was a great game," said CBA coach Matt Gormley. "We were disappointed by the score, but we feel encouraged by some of the things we saw."

Two big plays by Colonie proved to be the difference. The first was Mike Colello's 75-yard return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff, and the second was an interception midway through the third quarter that set up Colello's 27-yard field goal that sealed the victory.

"We had a costly turnover that stopped a good drive we had going," said Gormley. "We gave them a short field, and the field goal hurt us."

Both teams used their ground games to gobble up yards. Colonie's offense rushed for more than 240 yards, which was only slightly more than what CBA's Jack Reilly gained by himself. The senior tailback rushed for 234 yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard run late in the first quarter.

"It was old fashioned Colonie football," said Ambrosio. "We averaged a little over six yards per carry. Our running backs did a great job."

Quarterback Mike Branche rushed for two touchdowns, and tailback Matt Hamilton added a 9-yard scoring run for Colonie, which scored the final 10 points of the game to pull out the win.

The Garnet Raiders travel to Saratoga Springs Friday where they'll meet a Blue Streaks squad still stinging from a 21-16 loss to defending Sectional champion LaSalle last weekend.

"We need to improve [for that game]," said Ambrosio. "We didn't tackle as well as we should have. Reilly had some big runs [for CBA], and [Saratoga's] Tony DeLoatch is the kind of back that will run you over."

Coincidentally, CBA meets LaSalle in a cross-divisional game Friday. It's the annual game between the two private schools from across the Hudson River.

"I think both teams look forward to it every year," said Gormley. "It's one of those games where it doesn't matter what the records are. Both teams will play hard.""

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