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FOOTBALL: Lacanaria takes his game to another level, keeps Brother Rice on right track towards repeat

By: Scott Burnstein, September 25, 2012, 7:00 am

Birmingham Brother Rice senior quarterback Cheyne Lacanaria is one of the most improved players in the entire state this year.

Standing barely 5-foot-9, Lacanaria is a cannon-armed sparkplug who has been a picture of efficiency lately, having completed 23 of his last 27 pass attempts entering the Warriors (4-1, 2-0 CHSL-Central Division) league battle versus Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (4-1, 1-0 CHSL-Central Division) on Saturday night at Hurley Field in Berkley.

“He’s a little guy, with a big arm,” said legendary Brother Rice head coach Al Fracassa of his second-year signal-caller. “I like the way he handles himself out there and how steady he is in running our offense.”

From practically the second he stepped behind center for the first time on the Warriors varsity last August against Detroit King in the 2011 season-opener, Lacanaria’s big-game ability has been apparent. He threw the game-winning touchdown in the closing seconds of the King game and has been off and running – I mean passing – ever since.

“I have a lot of confidence in my talent at the position and I love to throw the football,” Lacanaria said. “I’m always going to do everything I need to do to make sure our offense is ready to function at a high level come game time. That’s my job as a leader of this team and I take pride in it.”

While last fall he was pretty much strictly a game-manager type when he quarterbacked the Warriors to a Division 2 state championship, this season Lacanaria has been allowed more freedom in running the team’s offense.

His favorite target in the passing game has been his baby brother, junior receiver Corey Lacanaria. In Brother Rice’s 42-24 defeat of Toledo St. Francis De Sales in Week 3, the pair of siblings had a day for the record books.

Cheyne was 9-for-9 through the air for 181 yards and two touchdowns, making him only the third field general in Warriors history to finish a game with a perfect passing percentage.

Corey, debuting on the varsity this fall, hauled in seven of those passes for 165 yards and a score, the third-best single-game performance ever by a Brother Rice receiver.

Against University of Detroit-Jesuit in Week 5, Cheyne hit Corey in stride with a beautifully-placed 47-yard completion in the fourth quarter, setting up a Warriors touchdown on the ground moments later to deliver the knockout blow in the squad’s 21-3 victory.

If Cheyne was a few inches taller, he would most likely be a Division I college recruit. Nonetheless, he’s still being coveted at the Division II level and will be playing somewhere next season.

Valparaiso appears to be the front-runner in the race for his services as a college quarterback.