Josh Wynn spoke to his Christian Brothers Academy football teammates before they headed to the locker room following a 28-14 loss to Empire Division rival Shenendehowa Friday, Sept. 19, in Colonie.
Wynn reminded them about the fact that Shen beat CBA last season to take early control of the Empire Division, only to then lose a pair of divisional games and finish in fourth place. The Brothers bounced back to claim the division title on their way to winning the Section 2 Class AA championship.
It’s a message CBA coach Joe Burke said he hoped his players would absorb as they move on from their first loss of the season.
“I’m sure our kids will bounce back,” said Burke. “Last year, we learned that if we keep it together, good things will come.”
CBA (0-1 league, 2-1 overall) entered its divisional opener without two key players, Ben Anthony and Nasir Tune. Anthony was still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in a 34-16 season-opening victory over Shaker Sept. 5, while Tune sat out after injuring himself against LaSalle Sept. 12.
“Ben and Nasir are key ingredients to what we do on defense, as well as on offense,” said Burke. “It’s a hit not being able to have those kids, but we had others who stepped up.”
The game started well for CBA when quarterback Joe Kolbe connected with wide receiver Austin Ellis on a 63-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to give the Brothers a 7-0 lead. Slowly but surely, though, Shen’s defense took away all of the things that made CBA’s offense work – first by shutting down the Brothers’ running game, and then by forcing Kolbe into making mistakes with the ball.
“Credit Shen. Credit their coaching staff for calling a good game on both sides of the ball,” said Burke.
Tailback Matt Taft scored on runs of one and 62 yards to put Shen ahead 14-7. Jahkil Paul tied the score for CBA with an 11-yard scoring scamper later in the second quarter, but Brendan Marra fired a 62-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Zlogar on a trick play before halftime to give the Plainsmen the lead for good.
Marra caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Van Galen in the third quarter to make the score 28-14, and Shen never looked back in beating CBA for the second year in a row.
“Tonight, Shen was the better football team,” said Burke. “I thought we played good football. We did some good things offensively and defensively.”
Taft rushed for 133 yards, and fullback Oliver Robinson added 85 yards to lead Shen’s offense. Paul gained 68 yards for CBA, but leading rusher Jaylen McIntyre was limited to 37 yards on six carries.
The Brothers host Ballston Spa Friday, Sept. 26, in an Empire Division game.
Associate editor/sports editor