Tony Fusco scored five touchdowns as the Plainsmen turned away Columbia, 49-6, to claim another Section II Class AA football championship at Steuerwald Stadium Friday night.

CLIFTON PARK - Don't get in Shenendehowa's way

It marked the final time that Steuerwald coached on his home field. After 44 years, he's retiring at the end of the season and his team wants to send him off in style.

Shenendehowa upped its record to 10-0 and gave Steuerwald his 11th sectional championship.

It was a very special night for the veteran coach who was carried off the field after posting his 317th victory.

"I think it's terrific. I'm just thrilled with the effort. I'm very proud of these kids. As you go through a football season you either get better or worse. Our kids have handled the challenge," said Steuerwald. "And as far as being carried off, it's better than getting gatorade dumped on you."

Quarterback Teddy VanGalen connected with Cole Lampman for a 16 yard touchdown pass to give Shen a 7-0 advantage.

And then it was the Fusco show.

The talented senior back scored on runs of 6, 3, 10 and 1 yards and the Plainsmen took a comfortable 35-0 lead at halftime.

Fusco's running mate, Marcelino Christie got into the act with a one yard touchdown run and the margin went to 42-0.

Christopher Smith put Columbia on the scoreboard with a five yard run and then Fusco reached the end zone from 30 yards out to end an outstanding performance.

Fusco gained over 180 yards while Smith struggled picking up 16.

"We have a lot of talent that is very good. I told the team before the game, if you can win, you will join an elite group of 10 other teams. We've obviously accomplished a great deal. I know this is one of the better teams in my 44 years. As things cleared up (after the game), you look and realize it's the final game here. I have a lot to be grateful for," said Steuerwald.

Columbia, under first year varsity coach Craig Cavotta, finishes with an 8-2 record.

Shenendehowa will now prepare for a regional game at Dietz Stadium (Kingston) on Saturday, Nov. 12.


Article by Mike Collar