It was a perfect night for longtime Shenendehowa head football coach Brent Steuerwald.  The Plainsmen posted their fifth shutout of the season with a 42-0 win over CBA of Albany to capture the Section II Class AA Empire Division championship Saturday night.

Both teams entered the contest 4-0 in divisional play and 5-0 overall. This night belonged to Shenendehowa in every aspect.

Before the game, both schools, the Shenendehowa community and many former players paid tribute to Steuerwald, who will retire after 44 years on the sidelines.

Shenendehowa has won 26 league titles and this marks Steuerwald's 313th career win.

"It was a lovely night. I'm certainly proud of the kids and what they accomplished. We did better defensively than I thought we could. I thought if we stopped their offense, we would win," said Steuerwald.

One of the bright spots for CBA was when Cameron Wynn returned the opening kickoff 57 yards to the Plainsmen 33. But a determined Shen defense did its work and stopped the Brothers from scoring.

"This is a big step. I'm glad we had that stop. It was very important," said Steuerwald.

From that point, Shenendehowa dominated the game.

Tony Fusco scored on a six yard touchdown run to put the Plainsmen ahead 7-0. And he wasn't done.

The talented senior back scampered 51 yards for another touchdown and reached the end zone from 17 yards and Shen was on top, 21-0, at halftime. He finished with over 200 yards rushing.

CBA had a couple of opportunities to produce points, but the stubborn Plainsmen defense hung tough and did an exceptional job.

"I thought we defended fairly well in the first 24 minutes even though we gave up points. They're just a better football team, more physical than we were. We broke down and didn't tackle well. Offensively, we didn't protect the passer and didn't sustain our blocks. I think we underestimated their kids. Give them (Shenendehowa) all the credit in the world," said CBA of Albany head coach Joe Burke.

Marcelino Christie got into the scoring act for Shen in the second half. He sped past the CBA defense for a two yard touchdown and then broke tackles to hit paydirt from 34 yards away and a 35-0 advantage.

And the Plainsmen weren't done yet.

Albert Daggs put the finishing touches on an impressive win scoring from three yards out. Corey Acker enjoyed a big night in the kicking department adding six extra points.

"I think we have a good balance. We had a good week of practice emulating what they're (CBA) doing. All facets of our defense played outstanding. Across the board, we've improved over last couple of years. We continue to play with intensity. My greatest fear (Saturday night) was a distraction to me and the kids. I think it was wonderful. I want to thank everyone for a special night," said Steuerwald.

Shen now gets ready to visit Saratoga Springs on Friday night and as the veteran coach summed it up, "I should not have to worry about getting up for Saratoga."

Meanwhile, CBA will try to get back to its winning ways with a game at Ballston Spa on Friday night. CBA and Ballston Spa are both 4-1 in divisional play.

"It was Shen's night. They made sure of that. Looking ahead, Ballston Spa is a very dangerous football team. Another big game. It will be a tough battle. The number two seed and a home playoff game is on the line," said Burke.

On Thursday night, Schenectady squeaked past rival Niskayuna, 35-34, in overtime thanks to a Kwame Jarvis six yard touchdown run. Halim Aldhala added the important extra point kick.

Schenectady, 3-1 in the Liberty Division and 3-3 overall, will journey to LaSalle on Friday night. LaSalle is 2-2, 3-3.

Unbeaten Troy took care of neighbor Lansingburgh, 26-0, to clinch the Class A Southeast Division championship.

Raheem Felder threw two touchdown passes and ran for another. Daquan Holmes was on the receiving end of 44 and 10 yard scoring passes by Felder.

Unfortunately, Troy head coach Jack Burger had to leave at halftime to visit his ailing mother in Newburgh

Troy is now 5-0 in Southeast play and 6-0 overall.

Amsterdam, 6-0, knocked off Colonie, 44-14, in an interclass game. Quarterback Vinny Sobkowich tossed a couple of touchdown passes and scored from one yard away.

In a Class B West Division game, unbeaten Schalmont made it 6-0 with a 28-7 victory over host Hudson Falls on Saturday afternoon.

Niko Nicoletti and Alex Hildebrand were the offensive stars for the Sabres with two touchdowns apiece.

The Schalmont running game worked effectively as Hildebrand gained over 150 yards and Nicoletti was close behind at 140. Devin Willis contributed 60 in a well-balanced attack.

"We made mistakes offensively, but our defense played good. They (Hudson Falls) have a good program. This is a good win for us. I think we have the ability to be so much better. I'm definitely concerned. I don't think we're playing our best football right now. In this game, I think we won the line of scrimmage. We did a nice job up there," said Schalmont head coach Joe Whipple.

Schalmont (4-0, 6-0) will host Schuylerville (3-1, 5-1) in a big game Saturday.

A big game in Class B Reinfurt Division shows Ravena traveling to Albany Academy on Saturday afternoon. Both teams are 3-0 in divisional play.

The latest New York State Sportswriters Association football poll: AA-Shenendehowa, 6th; CBA, 18th; A-Troy, fourth; Amsterdam, 10th; B-Schalmont, 6th; Ravena, 20th; C-Hoosick Falls, second; Fonda-Fultonville, 9th and D-Cambridge, 8th and Rensselaer, 18th.

Article by Mike Collar