CLIFTON PARK — Heading into last week’s pivotal showdown at Guilderland, Shenendehowa head coach Brian Clawson said he kept his team’s focus away from the game’s stakes.
“We talk about getting 1% better every single day,” Clawson said after the Plainsmen’s 35-13 win against the Dutchmen.
That victory set Shenendehowa up to control its own destiny toward earning a top-two seed for the Section II Class AA football playoffs, but the toughest obstacle remaining in the Plainsmen’s way shows up Friday on their home field when CBA visits Shenendehowa with as much — if not more — at stake as the Plainsmen.
While Shenendehowa (4-1, 4-1) wants to take another step toward securing a home game in the semifinals, CBA (3-1, 4-1) starts a three-game stretch that could make or break its regular season. After playing at Shenendehowa, CBA wraps up its regular season with games against undefeated Shaker and 3-2 Guilderland.
To some extent, CBA is looking to get back on track. After an impressive 3-0 start to the season, CBA lost 33-6 to Bethlehem in Week 4, then won 20-19 last week against 1-4 Saratoga Springs. While CBA still controls its path to a top-two postseason seed, it’s 0-1 on the season against Class AA’s fellow top-five teams, and still has ample work to do to avoid missing its classification’s four-team postseason field given its remaining schedule.
Meanwhile, Shenendehowa heads into this week’s matchup on a three-game winning streak in which it has dominated its opponents. The Plainsmen have outscored their foes 132-13 since losing in Week 2 to Shaker.
“One game at a time,” Clawson said. “CBA is next, so we’ve got to put together another great week of practice and focus on CBA.”
Besides CBA at Shenendehowa, here are four more Section II football games to watch in Week 6.
AVERILL PARK AT AMSTERDAM
Averill Park was undefeated until last Friday’s loss to Troy, and now finds itself heading into a 7 p.m. Friday matchup — essentially — needing a win to hold onto hosting a game in the first round of the Section II Class A playoffs. Amsterdam is riding a three-game winning streak into a matchup of 4-1 teams.
SCHUYLERVILLE AT COBLESKILL-RICHMONDVILLE
In a non-division matchup, two of the area’s best Class B teams meet up. Kickoff between the pair of likely No. 2 seeds for the postseason arrives 7 p.m. Friday. Schuylerville is 4-1 on the season, with its lone loss coming against defending Class B state champion Glens Falls, while Cobleskill is 3-2, with losses against undefeated Holy Trinity and Class A’s La Salle Institute.
MECHANICVILLE AT STILLWATER
Undefeated Stillwater will look for its fourth consecutive win against its archrival, and to set itself up for a winner-takes-the-division game in Week 7 against Fonda-Fultonville. Meanwhile, Mechanicville is looking to bounce back from a 14-0 loss against Greenwich. This Section II Class C Central Division matchup takes place 7 p.m. Friday.
CHATHAM AT WARRENSBURG
The winner of this 7 p.m. Friday matchup will end up the No. 1 seed for the Section II Class D playoffs. In a four-team field, that top seed has extra importance, as it’ll allow the winner to avoid playing a tough semifinal against Whitehall.