Christian Brothers Academy’s Cameron Wynn (34) stretches for the end zone as he is tackled from behind by a Schenectady defender during the first quarter of an Oct. 21 Section II Class AA quarterfinal game.
Photo by Rob Jonas.
CBA had a touchdown called back at the end of the first quarter on a penalty, but that only delayed the Brothers’ next scoring play. That play was a screen pass from Ted Cillis to Zappone, who then raced down the right sideline for a 54-yard touchdown. Andrew Jensen’s extra point was blocked, but the damage was done as CBA took a 20-0 lead.
“They were coming pretty hard off the edge … and we ran a screen play,” said Burke. “Cody [Zappone] does a very good job on those.”
Cillis continued to exploit Schenectady’s defense in the second quarter. The senior quarterback tossed a 56-yard touchdown pass to Pete Luizzi to extend CBA’s lead to 27-0. Cillis then added a 12-yard scoring strike to Pete Rustowicz in the third quarter to effectively seal Schenectady’s fate.
Cillis completed 11 of his 15 passes for 228 yards to lead the Brothers’ balanced offense. Wynn rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown, and Zappone added 89 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Burke said his team will need to do the same thing when CBA meets Columbia Friday in East Greenbush.
“We think they’re a very good defense. They’re big up front, and they’re very physical,” said Burke of Columbia, which won the Liberty Division title this season. “We’ll look to get the ball out on the perimeter [with the running game]. At the same time, we’ve got to throw the football. A really good mix of passing and getting out on the perimeter should really challenge their defense. If we don’t do that, we will be in serious trouble.”
CBA’s defense will be challenged by Columbia junior tailback Christopher Smith, who has gained nearly 1,400 yards and scored 19 touchdowns this season. Smith is coming off back-to-back games where he has gained more than 200 yards, including a Columbia-record 285-yard performance in last Friday’s 40-19 Class AA quarterfinal victory over Guilderland.