LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It was a tale of two halves between the Averill Park and Shaker football teams Saturday morning in Latham. After the two sides combined to score nine points through the first two quarters, they erupted for 37 over the final 24 minutes of game action.

The Blue Bison finished strong, though, in their home opener, scoring 18 unanswered points to close the game and fend off the upset-minded Warriors, winning 30-16.

A defensive battle broke out in the opening frame; the score remained 0-0 at the conclusion of the quarter, but Shaker was set up with favorable field position to start the second stanza after a fumble recovery by Rhys Lewis deep in A-P territory.

Blue Bison quarterback Marcus Snipes turned that into six points, connecting with Matt Bennett on a fourth down and long situation for a 15-yard TD strike. Bennett managed to just get his foot down in the back of the end zone for an acrobatic catch.

The Warriors found a spark on offense shorty after. On the very next play from scrimmage, Shawn Ratigan broke off a massive run on an end around that took the offense inside the red zone. They eventually turned that into three points on a Drew Canaday field goal, and the score remained 6-3 as the two teams headed for the locker room at halftime.

Out of the break, the scoreboard operator got pretty busy. Averill Park struck right out of the gate with a 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Jacob Phelps to take a 9-6 edge.

But Snipes marched Shaker right down the field on its’ ensuing drive. Parrish Tune reached pay dirt on a 10-yard plunge up the middle, reclaiming the Blue Bison the lead at 12-9.

Averill Park responded once again, chewing up yards on the ground. A roughing the passer penalty negated a would-be, drive-ending interception for Shaker. And the Warriors capitalized moments later; Phelps took a halfback toss off the left side 27 yards to house, and following a Canaday PAT, A-P was back on top 16-12.

That would be the last time Averill Park found the end zone, though. Shaker charged right back on its’ ensuing possession, and a 14-yard Dallas Mutziger touchdown scamper in the late stages of the third quarter gave the Blue Bison a lead they would never relinquish.

Snipes connected with Kevin Williams on a 48-yard TD pitch-and-catch, followed by a Shea Hegarty 60-yard scoop-and-score in the final quarter to put the game on ice.

Shaker (2-0) opens up league play Thursday, traveling to Christian Brothers Academy at 7:00 p.m. The Blue Bison and Brothers made for one of the most exciting contests in the section a year ago; CBA managed to eek out a 35-34 overtime win in Latham. That matchup will also pit Brothers quarterback Jake Iacobaccio against his former team. He started for Shaker under center in each of the last two seasons.

Averill Park (1-1) will also prepare for a massive game Thursday. It returns to Class A competition, play against Niskayuna in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl. Zach Gobel’s bunch will travel to Niskayuna in hopes of avenging a 35-6 loss to Silver Warriors in that Super Bowl game. Kickoff is also slated for 7:00 p.m.