GUILDERLAND CENTER, NY (NEWS10) — For the second straight season, the Section II, Class AA football title comes down to Shenendehowa and Christian Brothers Academy.
The Brothers roll into Friday’s section final as the defending champs, having knocked off the Plainsmen 28-14 last year. And Bob Burns’ squad has not missed a beat in 2022. They entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed following in an undefeated, 9-0 regular season. CBA took down Saratoga Springs 10-0 in the semi-finals.
The veterans on the squad – quarterback Donald Jones, running back Jahmir Pitcher, tight end Chuck Volans, to name a few – know what it takes to deliver under the bright lights. Burns hopes they can help the underclassmen make the most of a special opportunity.
“For some of these younger kids that really never experienced it (a section championship), it’s a great thing,” said Burns. “I mean, being able to play for a championship within your own region is something real special, and we got a handful of kids that were on the team last year when we were able to get it done, so hopefully they can convey to the younger guys, you know, what it takes, and as far as preparation with the week…how we have to be…crossing all the t’s, and dotting all the I’s, and making sure that everything is…in order, so that we can really play well.”
Two-seeded Shen finds itself in a very similar situation to last year, having beaten rival Shaker in the semi-finals to set up a title fight with CBA.
Plainsmen head coach Brian Clawson recognized the significance of Friday’s victory over the Bison, but he believes his team is in a better head space in the wake of that game than they were following last year’s playoff win against Shaker.
“It’s a little different than last year,” said Clawson. “I mean, it’s a rematch from last year’s Super Bowl. Last year we beat Shaker for the first time in nine, or 10 years, so, the exhilaration after that win felt like that was the Super Bowl for us. And after beating Shaker in the regular season (this year), and in the playoffs, I feel like…it wasn’t as emotionally draining. So, the focus is there; the intensity is there, and they’re really excited.”
The Class AA Super Bowl kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday from Guilderland High School. The matchup will be as NEWS10‘s 1st & 10 “Game of the Week.”