Shenendehowa’s 42-0 victory over Christian Brothers Academy three weeks ago may have been the best thing to happen for the Brothers.
CBA (7-1) has been on a tear since that loss, outscoring its two most recent football foes – Ballston Spa and Schenectady – 73-7 on its way to Friday’s Section II Class AA semifinal game at Columbia.
“The kids are feeling good about themselves,” said CBA coach Joe Burke. “We’ve had two really strong performances against what we consider to be two really good teams.”
The Brothers have made a habit of taking control of games early in the last two weeks. They scored on their four first-half possessions on their way to a 33-7 victory over Ballston Spa in their Empire Division finale, and they did the same in last Friday’s 40-0 Class AA quarterfinal victory over Schenectady in Colonie.
Burke said the offense has stepped up since being shut out by Shen Oct. 8.
“That Week 6 game really woke us up,” said Burke. “We may have underestimated their speed on defense. Most of that game, they really got after us good. But I think it gave us a couple of days to think about what went wrong and what we could do to fix it.”
There wasn’t enough time for Schenectady (3-5) to fix what it was doing wrong against CBA. After forcing the Patriots to punt early in the first quarter, the Brothers needed only five plays to march down the field and score their first touchdown of the game – a 15-yard run by Cameron Wynn. All the while, Schenectady had a difficult time tackling Wynn or any other CBA ball carrier.
The trend continued a short time later. CBA forced a Schenectady turnover near midfield on the Patiots’ next series, and the Brothers moved quickly down the field again. This time, Cody Zappone scored on a 1-yard run to make the score 14-0 midway through the opening period.