With his team’s Week 1 win at Bethlehem complete, Shenendehowa football head coach Brian Clawson quickly refocused his Plainsmen.
Truthfully, though, not much needed to be said to accomplish that after last Friday’s game.
“It’s Shaker week,” Clawson told his team.
That’s a week members of the Shenendehowa program have waited for ever since losing a hard-fought 14-7 decision to Shaker in Week 4 of last season.
“All through the offseason, our focus was on this week,” said Shenendehowa senior lineman Billy Marchewka, whose squad lost in last year’s Section II Class AA semifinals to Saratoga Springs, the program Shaker bested in the area final. “Everything we did in the offseason goes into this week. This is Shaker week, and we’re ready for it.”
Shaker, too, is ready for its 7 p.m. Friday matchup with the Plainsmen in Clifton Park. While Shenendehowa secured a 40-7 win at Bethlehem last week, Shaker revved up for this week’s showdown with a 41-23 road win against Guilderland.
Shaker head coach Greg Sheeler said he knew his group would “play hard and with energy” in Week 1, but described himself as “very pleased” with his team’s level of execution in a road environment. The Blue Bison return five starters on each side of the ball, and Sheeler said he was as curious as anyone to see how his reloaded program would fare in Week 1.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Sheeler, whose program started 10-0 last season on its way to reaching the state semifinals. “If anyone knows what to expect from high school kids in Week 1, they should write a book about it. You really don’t know what you have until you’re on the field Friday night.”
In Week 1, Shaker received two touchdowns from running back Porter Ninstant, while Shenendehowa’s Billy Beach led the Plainsmen with three touchdowns.
“It’s a big game. We’ve talked about it,” Sheeler said of his team’s Week 2 clash. “They understand Shenendehowa is very talented on both sides of the ball. It’s a big stage for us.”
Besides Shaker’s visit to Shenendehowa, here are four more Week 2 games to watch.
Amsterdam at Troy
The Rugged Rams topped Class AA’s Colonie in Week 1, while Troy is coming off a win against La Salle. Troy duo Xavier Leigh and Xavier Ward combined for 248 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the Flying Horses’ opening win, while Amsterdam’s Peyton Ausfeld scored three touchdowns, plus gained 163 rushing yards and 99 receiving yards in the Rams’ opener. The Class A Capital Division rivals meet 7 p.m. Friday.
Glens Falls at Schuylerville
In a 67-6 Week 1 win against Lansingburgh, Glens Falls showed it still has plenty of firepower after graduating so many key players from last year’s state champion. Meanwhile, Schuylerville won 55-16 against Johnstown last week ahead of its 7 p.m. Friday Class B North Division matchup with Glens Falls.
Mohonasen at Queensbury
The Mighty Warriors meet the Spartans 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Each team is 1-0, and Mohonasen is looking to build off a 58-14 win against South Glens Falls in this Class A Grasso Division game.
Cobleskill-Richmondville at Holy Trinity
Each of these squads scored an impressive Week 1 win, with Cobleskill topping Schalmont and Holy Trinity defeating Hudson. The winner of this 1:30 p.m. Saturday matchup becomes the favorite in the Class B Reinfurt Division.