LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The last time Shenendehowa and Shaker met on the gridiron, the Plainsmen bounced the Blue Bison from the 2021 class AA sectional semi-finals, marking their first win against Shaker since 2011. The two schools renewed their rivalry in week four in News10 ABC’s 1st & 10 “Game of the Week.”

And for the second straight meeting, Shen head coach Brian Clawson and his squad marched into Latham, N.Y., and handed the Blue Bison a loss, winning a 20-14 overtime thriller Friday night. After Shen punted the ball away following a three-and-out on the opening possession of the game, Shaker’s offense, led by junior quarterback Jake Iacobaccio, quickly reached midfield on the Blue Bison’s first drive. That possession was subsequently cut short when Shen junior defensive back Quinn O’Connor intercepted a deep Iacobaccio pass.

The Plainsmen capitalized on the turnover, marching right down the field on their next series. And on a crucial fourth down attempt, Shen sophomore running back Ihsaan Alozie took a toss from junior quarterback Michael Whatley, turned on the jets, and raced to the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown scamper, giving his team the early 7-0 edge.

Midway through the second quarter, the Plainsmen got their aerial attack going. Michael Whatley fired a 55-yard strike to junior wide receiver Luke McAuliffe, and fought through the tackle of Shaker’s Nick Cerrone to reach the goal line, extending the Shen lead to 14 points. But Shaker stormed back on the ensuing drive, and Iacobaccio scored on a quarterback keeper off a read option to cut the Blue Bison deficit in half.

After a second half dominated by defense, Shaker had an opportunity late in the fourth quarter to potentially tie the game. With less than a minute to play, Iacobaccio found his senior running back Donovan Deguire through the air off play action, and Deguire beat O’Connor to the end zone for the game-tying touchdown.

Shaker had first crack on offense in the overtime period, but quickly went backward. On fourth down and long, Iacobaccio threw up a desperation heave that was picked off by Shen senior defensive back Justin Velez.

All the Plainsmen needed on their possession was a field goal, but they got double that when senior running back Henry Picard took a pitch from Whatley off the right side of the line, turned the corner, and went untouched into the end zone for the 11-yard touchdown run that locked down Shen’s 20-14 overtime victory. After forcing four Shaker turnovers, and holding the Blue Bison to a season-low 14 points, Clawson raved about the effort his guys gave on defense.

“The defense was pretty much on the field the whole second half; played their hearts out,” said Clawson. “We couldn’t get anything going in the second half. You know, give credit to Shaker. They’re a well-coached team. They fought back from a 14-nothing deficit. An incredible game from both teams, but we’re glad we came out on top.”

O’Connor recalls the effort the defense put forth through a grueling second half. “You know, we just went out there, and played together as a team,” said O’Connor. “(We) kept working hard. Our coaches had a great plan for us. And that’s it, you know? We came out and executed.” Shenendehowa (4-0) faces another tough test in week five, welcoming in a fellow undefeated Christian Brothers Academy squad. Shaker (2-3) hits the road next Friday for a showdown with Saratoga Springs.