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Birmingham Brother Rice's Alex Malzone passes down field during his team's win over Warren De La Salle Saturday night at Hurley Field in Berkley. (Special to The Oakland Press/LARRY McKEE)


FOOTBALL: Rice's Malzone, DLS's Rescigno put on quite a show Saturday night WITH VIDEO

Warren De La Salle quarterback Gio Rescigno makes a pass on the run during varsity football action against Brother Rice Saturday. (Special to The Oakland Press/LARRY McKEE)

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BERKLEY – Heading into Saturday’s game between Birmingham Brother Rice and Warren De La Salle, the quarterback matchup between the Warriors' Alex Malzone and Pilots' Giovanni Rescigno was a highly-anticipated one to say the least.

And while the defenses were dominant at times throughout much of the game, the two star signal callers didn’t disappoint on their final drive of the game.

With 4:15 to play and De La Salle facing a three point deficit, Rescigno led the Pilots on an 11 play, 80 yard touchdown drive where he found Brent Morris for the go-ahead touchdown from eight yards away with just 29 seconds left to play to give the Pilots a 24-20 lead.

But Malzone answered back with some late game heroics of his own.

With Brother Rice taking over with 19 seconds left to play, the junior quarterback made two quick passes for 29 yards to put the Warriors to within striking distance.

Then, after an incomplete pass with just two seconds left, sent a pass into the back corner of the end zone to senior Jason Alessi for the game winning touchdown as time expired to pick up a heart-stopping 26-24 win.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Malzone said of the final drive he orchestrated. “They were running a prevent defense with a lot of guys back there and we’ve got good receivers who can go up and make plays, and that’s what Jason Alessi did.”

Malzone finished the game completing 16-of-27 passes for 200 and a touchdown, while Rescigno finished Saturday’s contest completing 16-of-23 for 198 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 107 yards and had two scores on the ground as well.

Malzone noted that he knew it was going to be a tough battle going head-to-head with Rescigno on Saturday and added that the Pilot’s senior quarterback had a big time performance.

“It’s always a quarterback battle when you’re going up against a guy like Giovanni,” he said. “He played great tonight, but I felt my performance was subpar and that I could’ve played a little bit better. But our team stuck it out and played a great game and we came out with the victory.”

In the first half, Rescigno guided De La Salle to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter as he accounted for both rushing touchdowns, each coming on a quarterback sneak from right outside the end zone to give the Pilots the early advantage.

Brother Rice head coach Al Fracassa said that both teams featured a top notch quarterback on Saturday, and added that Rescigno and De La Salle very well could have topped the Warriors with how the Pilots and their field general played.

“They both are very good athletes and very good quarterbacks,” he said. “We knew that they were going to give us a game. Everybody wants to beat us, and they could have beaten us. But that was very dramatic at the end there and I’m glad we won.”

Both quarterbacks spread the ball out to their receivers all night as Malzone connected with five receivers on the night, including eight times with senior Corey Lacanaria, while Rescigno completed passes to six different receivers, including seven to Morris, and six more to senior Jared Wangler.

Last Updated: 9/22/2013 1:00:17 AM EST

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