Senior quarterback Jordan Vazzano had carved up defenses through the air, tossing 12 touchdowns over St. Joseph’s first three wins.
For the first time this year, he didn’t throw any Saturday. He instead rushed for two scores, as did junior tailback Mufasha Abdul Basir in a 28-14 win over Darien at home.
Abdul Basir piled up 202 yards on the ground, propelling the Cadets to their fourth straight win. He scored on a 3-yard run to tie it 14-14 in the third, then had a 29-yard touchdown burst to put the Cadets up 21-14 with 9:46 remaining.
The 5-foot-9, 165-pound back was off to an explosive start the first three weeks, piling up 292 yards on just 36 carries (8.1 average). Saturday was his third game this year with at least 121 yards on the ground.
St. Joseph (4-0) is especially pleased that Abdul Basir — who rushed for 598 and five scores last year — is where he is.
Abdul Basir is back for his second stint at the school, after transferring from Stratford over the summer. He originally enrolled at St. Joseph, but left for half a semester late last year as a sophomore because of “off-the-field problems.”
He returned to St. Joseph over the summer, and began running and lifting weights with his old teammates again.
“I really felt a big hole in my heart,” he said, referring to his time away from the Cadets. “I love coming out here. I love practicing on the field.”
With Darien pressuring Vazzano early, sacking him twice, St. Joseph head coach Joe Della Vecchia was perfectly content with using the run game more.
“We take what we get. If we have to throw every play, we’ll throw every play. If we have to run every play, we’ll run every play,” Della Vecchia said. “I always get the question, ‘Do you guys try to be 50-50?’ We don’t try to be anything.
“We just try to win games and score touchdowns.”
And that’s what the Cadets did on Saturday.
“Hats off to them,” Darien head coach Rob Trifone said, “because that’s what the spread offense is supposed to do. When they take something away, you’ve got to have an answer. And today, they had an answer.”