CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s no secret that Shenendehowa and Christian Brothers Academy have been the cream of the crop in the Class AA high school football ranks the last three years. The two sides have squared off in two straight Super Bowls, and this season, both squads have roared out to a 4-0 record. That makes for one heck of a 1st & 10 “Game of the Week” this week.
The two perennial powers will meet under the lights at CBA Friday in perhaps the most anticipated Section II game of the regular season thus far.
The Brothers…well, they’ve won their four games by an average of 41.5 points an outing. The Plainsmen own a modest margin of victory as well at just shy of 27 points a game.
But Shen has been unable to beat a Bob Burns-led Brothers squad yet. It’s 0-4 against CBA since Burns took over the program in 2021, including losses in both those Super Bowl appearances.
The Plainsmen know they have the weapons in place to get the job done this year. It’s just about taking care of the finer details.
“Controlling the line of scrimmage is always critical; winning the turnover battle (and) the more plays we can get offensively will help us as well,” said head coach Brian Clawson. “It’s just those little things that we’ll work on in practice that’ll propel us for Friday night. When you’re playing four full quarters against a good football team, it’s (about) managing the ups and the downs of a football game. The game isn’t gonna be won with one play. It’s gonna be putting a sequence of plays together. I feel like focusing on winning every play – just breaking it down, and condensing it that way – is what we’re gonna be focused on.”
And for a senior class that’s yet to defeat CBA, they’re chomping at the bit for this opportunity.
“It’s been 10 months (since the Super Bowl); 10 months every day thinking about it,” said senior wide receiver/free safety Blake Mello. “That’s all I want to do: get right back at ’em. I got brought up (to varsity) as a sophomore, and I was a part of that team that lost to them the first time, and then I was part of it last year. As a senior, to beat them would mean everything to me.”
“What we have this year that we maybe didn’t have in the past as much was probably our leadership,” said senior linebacker Brett Steiner. “We have a lot of leadership. Even this year we have six captains. That wasn’t what we had last year. Last year we had maybe two. So, it’s a lot more leadership; a lot of guys stepping up into spots; a lot of guys filling the roles that we need, even non-captains.”
Full coverage of Shen and CBA will lead off our 1st & 10 show Friday night at 10:00 on FOX and 11:00 on ABC. Kickoff from CBA is set for 7:00 p.m.