Clifton Park

Shenendehowa in football rematch with CBA

Part of semifinal weekend
Billy Beach has been a key offensive figure for Shenendehowa's 7-1 football team.
Billy Beach has been a key offensive figure for Shenendehowa's 7-1 football team.

CLIFTON PARK — The Shenendehowa football team thought it would be seeing Guilderland, but instead it got CBA for a Section II Class AA semifinal game Friday night at Steuerwald Stadium.

The way CBA got there has added a bit of spice to what will be a rematch from the regular season, one of several round twos that are part of the semifinal schedule.

CBA rallied from an 18-6 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Guilderland 21-18 a week ago behind quarterback Tyler Fort. It was Fort’s 5-yard touchdown run in the final seconds that capped the comeback and qualified CBA for the postseason; a loss would have left out the Brothers, and saw Schenectady advance into the playoffs.

“We went on a one-minute drive. Seventy-five yards with no timeouts,” a thrilled CBA coach Joe Burke said after his team’s rally. “We spiked the ball three times. Made some plays. It was just a big win. Great for the kids.”

Shenendehowa (No. 2, 7-1) knows it will be a playing a CBA (No. 3, 5-3) team that’s different from the one the Plainsmen beat 41-21 in Week 6. Fort, a senior, missed that game with an injury.

“He [Fort] is a combination of the other two guys they used [at quarterback],” Shenendehowa senior defensive end Patrick McCane said. “He can run and throw.”

Shenendehowa hasn’t given up much this season on defense. When the Plainsmen beat CBA earlier in the season, Dyvante Terrelonge and Brandon Fahr returned interceptions for touchdowns in a 27-point spurt in the third quarter. Duncan Hill also took a pick for a score, and Fahr and McCane flourished with a combined 20 tackles.

“Defensively, we brought a lot of pressure,” Shenendehowa coach Brian Clawson said. “Our defense had a good game.”

Shenendehowa plans to bring the heat again.

“In terms of preparing to play a team for the second time, there are going to be adjustments one way or another,” Clawson said. “You try to anticipate what they might do, but not go away from what you do well.”

Shenendehowa’s win over CBA was part of a six-game victory streak that began after a 28-14 loss to Class AA top seed Shaker (8-0). That streak includes double-digit wins against Niskayuna, Colonie, Guilderland, Averill Park and Saratoga Springs.

“We’ve gotten better and better every week, and I credit our guys for coming out every day to work. We’ve made strides, and we’re executing well heading into the playoffs,” Clawson said. “Every single week it’s been, ‘If we can prepare and play to our full potential, the results should go our way.'”

Shenendehowa lost semifinal games to Saratoga Springs last year and to Troy in 2017.

“I want to end that streak. We went 7-2 sophomore year, 7-2 junior year,” said McCann, who, along with senior tackle Kevin Fobare, are the lone holdovers from the 2017 edition. “We’ve got good momentum right now. Our offense is playing the best it has. Our confidence is even higher than it was.”

CBA’s rollercoaster season included a 26-7 loss to Shaker just before its comeback win against Guilderland.

“I like our chances,” Burke said. “We had a tough game up there [at Shenendehowa]. . . . They scored three defensive touchdowns, and that’s something we can eliminate.”


Guilderland (No. 4, 5-3) goes to defending champion Shaker for Friday’s other 7 p.m. Class AA semifinal. Shaker opened the season with a 41-23 win over Guilderland.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (Grasso Division No. 3, 5-3) goes to Queensbury (Grasso No. 1, 8-0) Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. Class A semifinal. Burnt Hills lost there in Week 7 28-12 when Jason Rodriguez ran for four touchdowns.

“There’s no substitute for that experience,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said. “Once you’ve gone through it, once you’ve played a team, there are no surprises as far as their physicality and speed. We know how they play. We know how we have to play.”

Burnt Hills posted a bounce-back 17-7 win over Averill Park in the quarterfinals, setting up yet another sectional meeting between the Spartans and the Spartans. Burnt Hills beat Queensbury in the last two Class A Super Bowls and has won three straight titles.

“We are four quarters away from playing for a championship,” Shell said. “There’s a lot on the line. The kids realize that.”

Ballston Spa (Grasso No. 2, 6-2) goes to Troy (Capital No. 1, 7-1) for the other Class A semifinal Friday at 7 p.m.

The Class B semifinals include Schuylerville (North No. 2, 7-1) at Schalmont (Reinfurt No. 1, 6-2) Friday at 7 p.m., and Holy Trinity (Reinfurt No. 2, 7-1) at three-time defending champion Glens Falls (North No. 1, 8-0) Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The Class C semifinals include Greenwich (No. 5, 7-1) at Stillwater (No. 1, 8-0) Friday at 7 p.m., and Tamarac (No. 6, 6-2) at defending champion Cambridge/Salem (No. 2, 7-1) Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The Class D semifinals Saturday at Schuylerville will have Whitehall (No. 3, 4-4) meeting Chatham (No. 2, 6-2) at 7 p.m., and Helderberg Valley (No. 4, 3-5) playing Warrensburg (No. 1, 7-1) at 1 p.m. Chatham and Warrensburg own regular-season wins over their semifinal opponents.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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