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Shenendehowa football 7-0 with Vincenzi in charge

Shenendehowa football 7-0 with Vincenzi in charge

Plainsmen meet Guilderland in Class AA final
Shenendehowa football 7-0 with Vincenzi in charge
Junior quarterback Brody Vincenzi will lead Shenendehowa into the Class AA title game.
Photographer: Peter Barber

CLIFTON PARK — Like every young man involved in Friday's Section II Class AA championship football game matching Shenendehowa and Guilderland, Brody Vincenzi wants to score a touchdown.

Yet, the Plainsmen junior said he'd be just as satisfied by providing a block to make that happen for someone else in the 7 p.m. Super Bowl matchup on the turf at Troy High School.

"I like blocking," Vincenzi said. "I'll try to flatten a guy if it can help Billy [Beach] get into the end zone."

Beach did that four times last week when Shenendehowa beat CBA 41-0 in the semifinals and advanced to its first Super Bowl since winning it in 2014. That victory was the seventh in a row for the Plainsmen (No. 2 seed, 8-1), all of them coming since Vincenzi was inserted as their starting quarterback.

As a sophomore, Vincenzi quarterbacked Shenendehowa's junior varsity to a 9-0 record.

"What Brody brings to the table is a great command of our offense," Shenendehowa coach Brian Clawson said of his 6-foot-0, 205-pound signal-caller. "He has shown great leadership, and he can do different things. He is an accurate passer, he runs a little, and he is one of the few quarterbacks here at Shenendehowa that we've asked to block.

"He is a quarterback with a linebacker's mentality."


During the regular season, Vincenzi played a key role in Shenendehowa's 35-13 win at Guilderland in Week 5 when he tossed a trio of touchdown passes in the second half as the Plainsmen pulled away from a 7-7 tie.

"In the first half they came out firing. It was their homecoming," Vincenzi recalled. "It went back and forth in the first half, and we took off in the second half."

"We've still got something to prove," Clawson said. "We didn't really drive on Guilderland. Look at our five touchdowns and they were all on big plays. That's our challenge. We want to drive the football and possess the clock. Keep Guilderland off the field."

Another win over the Dutchmen (No. 4, 6-3) will boost Shenendehowa's Section II title count to 13. Shenendehowa has been on a roll with its seven straight wins — all by double digits — since it bowed to Shaker 28-14 in Week 2.

"Ever since the Shaker loss, we've been on a mission. We have rallied," Vincenzi said. "It's good to be back [in the title game]. We've got talent behind us and we've got our school behind us."

They've also got a Guilderland team to deal with that stunned Shaker (No. 1, 8-1) last week 14-7 to qualify for only its second Super Bowl. Shaker opened the season with a 41-23 win over Guilderland.

"Both teams are hungry. Both teams want to win it," Vincenzi said. "We've got to play flawless all four quarters, for 48 minutes, to win the Super Bowl."

Shenendehowa saw Guilderland without senior quarterback Mike Gitto, who returned from a broken leg in Week 6 and has guided the Dutchmen to a 3-1 mark. The lone defeat was a 21-18 Week 8 loss to CBA when the Brothers mounted a scoring drive in the final minute.

"We saw him [Gitto] at the [preseason] UAlbany camp and were very impressed," Clawson said. "They can throw and they proved against Shaker that they can run. We've got to play solid defense at all three levels."

Gitto threw a scoring pass to Dylan Lee, and Brad Igweike ran for a touchdown when Guilderland ended Shaker's 18-game win streak against Section II opponents. Beach scored his four touchdowns against CBA in the first half.

"The big boys did it up front. We had 350 rushing yards," Vincenzi said of the semifinal. "We were clicking on all cylinders, on both sides."

Shenendehowa rallied late to win its last Super Bowl in 2014 against CBA 25-20. Guilderland lost to La Salle 28-17 in its first title game back in 2007.

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

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