Shenendehowa quarterback Teddy Van Galen takes off during last Friday’s game at Guilderland. The Plainsmen shut out their second consecutive opponent with a 27-0 victory over the Dutchmen. Shen hosts unbeaten Shaker Friday.
Through two games, the Shenendehowa football team is undefeated and unscored upon.
Guilderland became Shen's latest victim, as the Plainsmen (2-0) shut down the Dutchmen's no-huddle spread offense in a 27-0 victory Friday in Guilderland.
The Guilderland game was tougher for Shen than its season-opening 50-0 victory over Bethlehem one week earlier. The Plainsmen racked up 550 rushing yards and didn't allow the Eagles to get near the end zone. By contrast, Guilderland (0-2) had some success moving the ball against Shen and had an opportunity to reach the end zone before halftime.
"That was a tough football game," said Shen coach Brent Steuerwald. "We had to fight for everything we got."
Shen's defense made several key plays, though, to make certain that Guilderland did not end the shutout streak.
"They did a nice job of mixing up their basic defensive packages and getting some pressure on us," said Guilderland coach Dan Penna. "They've got tremendous linebackers, and when you've got great linebackers it makes the defense that much more effective."
Shen's offense struggled at times against Guilderland's defense, but some tough running from Tony Fusco and a big pass by quarterback Teddy Van Galen gave the Plainsmen what they needed. Fusco had touchdown runs of 15 and three yards in the first half, and Van Galen's 63-yard pass to Brandon Miller in the third quarter set up Cory Acker's 6-yard scoring run that gave Shen a 20-0 lead.
"We knew they were going to churn some yards out," said Penna. "I thought our defense did an excellent job, given the opponent we had."
Steuerwald said he was pleased with Van Galen's throws and felt that the senior signal caller was looking more comfortable with airing the ball out.
"That helps us because it means that teams can't load up against us [to stop the run]," said Steuerwald. "It really helps our versatility."
Fusco added a 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to finish the night with 77 yards and three scores for the Plainsmen.
Guilderland quarterback Tim O'Connor threw for 155 yards and had several good runs to lead his team. O'Connor's best series was at the end of the second quarter when he marched the Dutchmen deep into Shen territory before time ran out.
"We're pleased with the fight and the spirit of the players," said Penna. "We told the players that no matter what the outcome was, we wanted to see them fight the whole game, and we did that."
Shen's scoreless streak will be in jeopardy next weekend when it hosts Shaker (2-0). The Blue Bison have scored 67 points in their first two games including Friday's 35-point performance in a victory over crosstown rival Colonie.
"Shaker is one of the best teams in their division, and we have to be at our best in order to win the game," said Steuerwald.
Meanwhile, Guilderland will try to lock down its first win of the season next Friday when it meets a Saratoga Springs team that is coming off a 43-13 loss to Bethlehem.
"At this point, we just want to get better and win our next game," said Penna.