Friday Night Lights: Shenendehowa football set for CBA clash

Members of the Shenendehowa football team race onto the field before a Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 football game against Shaker. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Reporter)Members of the Shenendehowa football team race onto the field before a Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 football game against Shaker. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Reporter)

BY MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Sportswriter

CLIFTON PARK — The big games come one after another for Shenendehowa football this season, and this week is no different for the Plainsmen.

Following non-divisional games against Canisius and Shaker, head coach Brian Clawson’s squad takes a dip into the Empire Division this week with a Week 3 meeting at home against CBA. Shenendehowa comes into the contest 0-2, while CBA is 1-1 as it heads into a rematch of last year’s Section II Class AA Super Bowl.

Kickoff is slated for tonight at 7 p.m.

NO PANIC

Shenendehowa football's Thomas Ciurczak is shown before a Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 football game against Shaker. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Reporter)

Shenendehowa football’s Thomas Ciurczak is shown before a Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 football game against Shaker. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Reporter)

With an 0-2 record, the Plainsmen are approaching tonight’s game with a serious nature — but that’s nothing different for the squad.

Their coach said practice this week was business as usual for Shenendehowa, which is not letting the early hits it has taken affect its mental makeup.

“In order to be a great team, which we are striving to be, you have to be able to consistently improve with each practice and every game,” Clawson said.

Since divisional play only starts tonight in Section II Class AA, Shenendehowa still controls its own destiny toward securing a No. 1 seed for the postseason. Tonight’s and next week’s games will be pivotal for Shenendehowa, as the Plainsmen follow up their meeting tonight against powerful CBA with a trip to rival Saratoga Springs in Week 4.

ONE TO WATCH

While CBA has shown a potent running game this season, Clawson said his team’s focus is on the Brothers’ signal-caller.

“It all starts with Joe Kolbe,” said Clawson, referring to CBA’s three-year starter at quarterback. “He’s got a wealth of experience.”

So far this season, Kolbe and the Brothers have found success with the quarterback dishing the ball out to the team’s running backs.After a 34-3 loss in Week 1 to Shaker, CBA’s top two running backs — Nick DeNicola and Taurian Taylor — combined for four touchdown runs in a 28-21 win against La Salle Institute.

Shenendehowa's Dakota Rainville, left, and Jawan Gibson, right, help teammate Ethan Junick off the field during a Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 football game against Shaker. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Reporter)

Shenendehowa’s Dakota Rainville, left, and Jawan Gibson, right, help teammate Ethan Junick off the field during a Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 football game against Shaker. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Reporter)

THIS & THAT

Plainsmen running back Carl Fiore has amassed 420 yards through rushes and receptions in Shenendehowa’s opening two games. … Shenendehowa will be without senior Ethan Junick (running back/defensive back) after a leg injury suffered last week. … After their Week 4 trip to Saratoga Springs, the Plainsmen return home for games against Ballston Spa and Albany.

About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.