Gamble pays off for Plainsmen (with photo gallery)

With a gut-check drive and successful gamble in the waning seconds, Shenendehowa christened its n

PHOTOGRAPHER:

With a gut-check drive and successful gamble in the waning seconds, Shenendehowa christened its new turf field Friday night with a pulsating victory.

Cody Case-Therrien followed up his two-yard touchdown run with a two-point conversion as the Plainsmen rallied for a 28-27 victory over Schenectady in a Class AA crossover game at Steuerwald Stadium.

“We walk off this field for the first time as a winner,” veteran Plainsmen coach Brent Steuerwald said after his team rallied from deficits of 13-7, 20-13 and 27-20. “It could have gone the other way. Schenectady is going to win a lot of football games.”

The Patriots (1-1) went up, 27-20, with 4:41 left on Tim Cox’s seven-yard touchdown scamper and Isaiah Earing’s extra point before the Plainsmen (2-0) countered with a 16-play, 65-yard series capped by Case-Therrien’s scoring run up the middle. Rather than kick an extra point and play for overtime, Steuerwald kept his offense on the field, and Shenendehowa delivered a crushing blow to the defending Liberty Division champions with 21.7 seconds left.

“I had the play picked out before we scored,” said Steuerwald, when asked why he went for two instead of one. “There was not one second of doubt in my mind. We were banged around pretty good. They’re a very explosive team.”

Case-Therrien took a pitch from quarterback Andrew Kalish and gained the right corner of the end zone to give the hosts the lead, sending the large crowd of Shenendehowa faithful into delirium.

“We work on goal-line stands every week, offense and defense, and it’s a play that’s worked. I had confidence,” said Kalish, who earlier tossed a pair of touchdown passes. “One of their guys came upfield, I made the pitch and Cody did his thing.

“I’m not surprised coach called for two,” the senior added. “I’ll admit, we had a tough time with their quarterback [Cox], and we didn’t want to see him in overtime.”

Backup delivers

With star Shenendehowa tailback Suhayb Banks sidelined for the final three quarters due to a knee injury, Case-Therrien got the ball 24 times before his two-point run and piled up 114 yards. The husky junior ran for four yards on a fourth-and-18 inches from the Pats’ 17 with 52 seconds left to keep Shenendehowa’s hopes alive.

“Cody did what he’s supposed to do. He stepped up tonight,” said Banks, who ran for 51 yards on eight carries and scored the game’s first TD on an 18-yard reception. “He did his job. He deserves everything he gets.”

“Their guy [Case-Therrien] came in and produced,” Schenectady coach Jim Kramer said. “He gave them a very solid effort.”

Case-Therrien ran eight times for 35 yards during Shenendehowa’s late touchdown march, while Kalish completed a pair of passes covering 23 yards, including an 11-yarder to Bronson Greene that pushed the ball to the two.

“I told the guys, ‘We’re going to take four minutes off the clock and score a touchdown,’ ” Kalish said. “I told them, ‘We’re going to march,’ and sure enough, we did.”

“We knew they were going to go to their bread and butter,” Kramer said. “They put together a drive and got the two to end an outstanding football game between two teams that are going to be around in sectional play.”

“Oh, boy. This is hard to describe,” Steuerwald said shortly after the contest ended with Cox sprawled near midfield after an 18-yard run. “I’m very proud.”

Kramer, who got two touchdown runs from Cox and others from Herman Seise and D’Metri Gilbert, was, too.

“The kids played as hard as they could play, and with as much heart as they had,” he said. “I think we played a heck of a football game.”

Seise ran for 103 yards on 13 carries, including a 24-yard dash to the end zone as Schenectady pulled even at seven in the opening per­iod. Gilbert’s 26-yard scoring burst pushed the Pats ahead in the second quarter, and Shenendehowa drew even in the third on Johnny Craig’s 18-yard touchdown burst.

Cox ran eight yards for a touchdown later in the quarter, and Shenendehowa got one early in the fourth on Greene’s 19-yard reception. Cox’ second touchdown, on a sprint to the left corner, finished off a 14-play, 65-yard drive.

Cox finished with 87 rushing yards on 20 attempts, and Steve Kent caught four of his passes for 41 yards.

Schenectady 7 6 7  7 — 27

Shenendehowa 7 0 6 15 — 28

Shen — Banks 18 pass from Kalish (Millington kick).

Sch — Seise 24 run (Earing kick).

Sch — Gilbert 26 run (kick failed).

Shen — Craig 18 run (kick failed).

Sch — Cox 8 run (Earing kick).

Shen — Greene 19 pass from Kalish (Millington kick).

Sch — Cox 7 run (Earing kick).

Shen — Case-Therrien 2 run (Case-Therrien run).

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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