Steuerwald gets huge sendoff (with photo gallery)

When it was his turn at the microphone near the end of Saturday night’s legacy tribute, Brent Steuer

When it was his turn at the microphone near the end of Saturday night’s legacy tribute, Brent Steuerwald took time to express just how proud he was to be associated with the young men on this year’s Shenendehowa football team.

The Plainsmen did nothing to alter their veteran coach’s view in the last regular-season home game of his illustrious career.

With a fifth shutout performance in six weeks and three touchdowns from Tony Fusco, the Plainsmen pushed aside Christian Brothers Academy in a 42-0 win, and clinched the Class AA Empire Div­ision championship before a huge crowd at Steuerwald Stadium.

“That’s a big, big win,” Steuerwald said after extending his Section II-record victory total to 313. “All I could ask for was accomplished tonight.”

Brandon Miller forced a fumble on a sack, D.J. Edick intercepted a pass, Marcelino Christie ran for two touchdowns and Albert Daggs added another as the state’s No. 6-ranked team went to 5-0 in the division and 6-0 overall, and dealt CBA (4-1, 5-1) its first defeat.

“We came out and stuck it to them. It was our game tonight,” said Fusco, who produced all three of his touchdowns in the first half and finished with 204 rushing yards on 22 carries. “I think the extra practice day really helped. By not playing Friday it gave us time to make everything real crisp.”

Aside from a few penalties and a missed tackle here and there, Shenendehowa turned in a fab­ulous performance in the televised football game. The Plainsmen set the tone with a defensive stop

after Cameron Wynn returned the opening kickoff 57 yards to the 33, and followed with more stops and a steady stream of yards, first downs and points.

“They came to play,” said CBA coach Joe Burke. “They played a great game tonight. Now, we’ve got to do our best to bounce back for Ballston Spa next week and prepare ourselves for the playoffs.”

Shenendehowa will be the Emp­ire Division’s No. 1 seed for the sectionals, and will play at home in the quarterfinals and again in the semis if successful in its pursuit of an 11th Super Bowl title.

“This sets us up for what I hope is a great postseason,” Steuerwald said.

Miller set up Shenendehowa’s first touchdown when he sacked CBA quarterback Teddy Cillis, forced a fumble on the hit, and Chris Stewart recovered the ball at the Brother’s nine. Fusco ran for three yards and then six into the end zone, and the senior tailback’s 51-yard touchdown burst soon followed on the first play after a three-and-out by CBA.

“We took momentum away from them early,” said Fusco.

Fusco scored his 15th touchdown of the season in the second quarter on a 17-yard dash. Corey Acker ran seven yards for a first down on a fake punt, and Fusco ran for 32 to set up his touchdown.

“Tony is a big, strong kid, and as you can see, he can run fast as well,” Burke said. “We needed to get a few more guys to him and shore up our tackling.”

Shenendehowa’s tackling and work against the pass stymied a CBA team that put up 41 points last week against Saratoga Springs, and had been held under 40 only once in a 26-25 win against Guilderland.

“Coach said they’re going to put some points on the board,” said Miller, a senior linebacker and tight end. “I told the guys, ‘Let’s take that as a challenge.’ ­”

CBA twice came up empty on fourth-and-goal from the Shenendehowa five, with Cillis throwing incomplete on the last play of the opening half and again to end the Brothers’ initial drive in the third quarter.

Both of CBA’s deep penet­rations were set up on passes from Cillis to Pete Rustowicz, the first covering 47 yards and the second covering 39.

“We moved the ball at times, but we never put enough plays together,” said Burke.

“We needed to put more plays together.”

“We did a very good job on their offense,” said Steuerwald. “Our kids anticipated well.”

Christie scored on runs of two and 34 yards, and Daggs scored on a three-yarder. Christie had 60 rushing yards as part of Shenendehowa’s 361 on the ground, and quarterback Teddy Van Galen’s seven completions went to six different receivers.

Cody Zappone led CBA with 62 rushing yards on 14 carries.

CBA  0 0 0  0 —  0

Shenendehowa 14 7 7 14 — 42

S — Fusco 6 run (Acker kick).

S — Fusco 51 run (Acker kick).

S — Fusco 17 run (Acker kick).

S — Christie 2 run (Acker kick).

S — Christie 34 run (Acker kick).

S — Daggs 3 run (Acker kick).

Categories: High School Sports

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