BY MICHAEL KELLY
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.
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.
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.