Clifton Park

Electrifying effort from Jones leads CBA football to 41-25 win over Shenendehowa

CBA's Donald Jones runs past Shenendehowa's Davin Leavey on his way to his second touchdown Friday, October 7, 2022.

CBA's Donald Jones runs past Shenendehowa's Davin Leavey on his way to his second touchdown Friday, October 7, 2022.

CLIFTON PARK — Anything and everything that Christian Brothers Academy football coach Bobby Burns asked of star junior Donald Jones on Friday night against Shenendehowa, Jones did — and more.

Electrifying, big-play runs? Check.

Hard-nosed plays to protect a second-half lead? Check.

Big-time pass plays? Check.

Shutdown defense in the secondary? Check.

All that, and a celebratory backflip as he finished with the postgame handshake line following a scintillating performance in the Brothers’ 41-25 win over Shenendehowa at Brent T. Steuerwald Stadium in a matchup of two teams that entered Friday night unbeaten.

“He’s just a special kid,” Burns said. “He’s a special player. He can do so many things. He’s such a competitor. People don’t understand that. He just wills the team to win.”

Jones started brilliantly, racing 71 yards untouched to the end zone on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and rarely let up. He finished the night accounting for 408 yards of total offense — 258 rushing yards on 23 carries, and 150 passing yards on just three completions — and had a hand in all five CBA touchdowns.

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Jones was particularly exhilarating in the first quarter, when he scored on runs of 71 and 73 yards, and tossed a 57-yard scoring strike to Chuck Volans. He added a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jahmir Pitcher in the second quarter — on a play where Jones lined up at wide receiver and took the ball on a jet sweep — and tacked on a game-sealing 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

“Donnie Jones is an incredible football player,” Shenendehowa coach Brian Clawson said. “He’s really hard to hold down for four full quarters. They block really well for him, and he made some nice key passes when we weren’t expecting it.”

“It’s pretty good to know what we have and what we can do against [Shenendehowa],” Jones said. “It’s just, from here on, what can we build onto that?”

Defensively, Jones spent the night shadowing Shenendehowa standout receiver Luke McAuliffe, who did finish with four catches for 134 yards and a touchdown, but didn’t catch a pass after halftime.

“He’s a two-way player,” Clawson said of Jones. “He’s playing secondary, and he’s all over our best receiver.”

The CBA (4-0 Section II Class AA, 6-0 overall) defense in general buckled down over the game’s final 20 minutes, as after Shenendehowa (3-1, 4-1) pulled within 27-25 on a 17-yard Ihsaan Alozie touchdown run on its first series of the second half, the Brothers allowed just one first down the rest of the night and forced a pair of turnovers.

The biggest of those was an interception by Pitcher that he returned 20 yards for a score with 1:21 left in the third quarter. Pitcher picked the ball off after CBA defensive end Chuck Volans deflected the pass from Shenendehowa’s Michael Whatley at the line of scrimmage.

“That was a tough one,” Clawson said. “We had the matchup we wanted. They were playing really off [coverage] and we tried to hit Luke on a stop route. Their defensive line, 24 [Volans] got his hands up and batted it. That was a big momentum shift right there. That was probably the turning point of the game.”

Whatley threw for 169 yards and connected with Alozie, McAuliffe and Henry Picard on first-half touchdowns, but was 0 for 7 with a pair of interceptions in the second half.

The first half was a cavalcade of big plays and trick plays, with both teams going deep into their playbooks. Both teams scored on trick plays, with CBA’s wide receiver option pass from Jones to Pitcher and Shenendehowa cashing in on a flea flicker that ended with Whatley hitting McAulife for a 40-yard touchdown.

At the end of the night, however, it was Jones’ show, and it put the Brothers in firm control of the race for the top seed in the Section II Class AA playoffs with three weeks left in the regular season.

“We’ve got the inside track to the one seed and a home playoff game,” Burns said. “We can kind of take a little more of a deep breath.”

  • CBA 20 7 7 7 — 41
  • Shenendehowa 6 12 7 0 — 25
  • C — Jones 71 run (Leto kick)
  • S — Alozie 34 pass from Whatley (kick failed)
  • C — Volans 57 pass from Jones (run failed)
  • C — Jones 73 run (Leto kick)
  • S — McAuliffe 40 pass from Whatley (run failed)
  • C — Pitcher 65 pass from Jones (Leto kick)
  • S — Picard 11 pass from Whatley (pass failed)
  • S — Alozie 17 run (Fankhanel kick)
  • C — Pitcher 20 interception return (Leto kick)
  • C — Jones 1 run (Leto kick)

More: All SportsEverything Clifton Park-Halfmoon

Categories: Clifton Park and Halfmoon, High School Football, High School Sports, Sports, Sports

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