Shen scout team shines in sec­ond half

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By StanHudy shudy@ dig­i­tal­first­media. com @ StanHudy on Twit­ter

CLIFTON PARK, N. Y. » When your first team of­fense puts up 42 points in the first half it be­comes times for the starters to be­come cheer­lead­ers and the scout team to get their op­por­tu­nity to shine un­der the Fri­day night lights.

It was an­other per­fect hand­off by the Shenen­de­howa var­sity foot­ball squad Fri­day night, turn­ing the reigns over to the Plains­men scout team to open the sec­ond half, con­tin­u­ing to keep Al­bany High score­less and tack on two more scores in a 56- 0 Class AA win dur­ing their home opener.

“When you have a half like that, that first se­ries in the sec­ond half is very im­por­tant be­cause we came out re­ally strong tonight, but as coaches we want to stress fin­ish­ing,” Shenen­de­howa Coach Brian Claw­son said. “To be able to start the sec­ond half real strong and to come out and score and then our de­fense held them to be­fore that to put themin a po­si­tion to go out there and score, then the sec­ond team came in and they played great.”

Lead­ing that sec­ond half charge was Gabe Cruz who pun­ished the Al­bany de­fense on six straight run­ning plays for 38 yards on the ground be­fore run­ning back Codi Heidt took it in from a yard out on the first of­fen­sive pos­ses­sion in the sec­ond half.

It was just like the Plains­men scout back had prac­ticed.

“He had a prac­tice dur­ing the week, Wed­nes­day and it was in­side run, the first team de­fense and we were do­ing their of­fense and Gabe was the run­ning back,” Claw­son said. “He lit­er­ally ran six times in a row with pas­sion, with anger, with de­liv­er­ance and he came back, he was tired, but he had that look in his eye like ‘ Coach, giveme the ball again.’

“I felt he earned that right to go out there with the first- teamof­fen­sive line be­cause he earned it in prac­tice. He’s been want­ing to do all that and I talked to him, I said ‘ Gabe, you have to be pa­tient, wait for your op­por­tu­nity. When that op­por­tu­nity comes you have to cash in,’ and he re­ally cashed in tonight.”

Cruz was back on the of­fen­sive side of the ball dur­ing Shenen­de­howa’s third pos­ses­sion in the sec­ond half and it as his turn to put away the work that ju­nior Kier­nan Shana­han, Cameron McNa­mara, Har­ri­son Shaw, Evan Gauer put in, plow­ing his own way in from one- yard out for the fi­nal score in the fourth quar­ter.

“We’re just look­ing to win the game, we’re look­ing to get ev­ery­one in,” Gabe Cruz said. “Ev­ery­one has ob­vi­ously put in a lot of hard work in.

“I was def­i­nitely an­tic­i­pat­ing get­ting a cou­ple of drives, but I couldn’t have done it with­out my block­ers out there and I think we did a great job out there sec­ond tea­mand first team.”

The di­rec­tion came dur­ing the 46- 0 half­time break.

“He clearly told us out there that I would be go­ing out, that a lot of the sec­ond team would be go­ing out for the drive and that we needed to work as hard as we did the first half,” Cruz said. “I put a lot of hard work into this. It’s my first sea­son back af­ter hav­ing a big shoul­der in­jury, but it was great get­ting out there and get­ting a lit­tle play­ing time.”

Not only were the scout team’s peers cheer­ing them on in the stands, but the side­lines were alive as the starters en­joyed watch­ing life ac­tion of their team­mates against some­one not wear­ing the same color jer­seys.

“It’s great to get ev­ery­one in,” Shenen­de­howa start­ing quar­ter­back Bren­dan Belott who gave way to ju­nior Mitchel Car­ley part­way through the sec­ond half. “They do a lot of work for us on scout and they work hard in prac­tice ev­ery week and it’s good to see themplay and just have a good time out here and run the ball, throw.”

The win cor­rects the Plains­men ship af­ter last week’s dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance and sub­se­quent loss to ri­val Saratoga Springs, 28- 14 on the road and brings Shenen­de­howa to a 2- 1 over­all­mark. Claw­son isn’t look­ing past any­one as the Plains­men travel to face Niskayuna, a 59- 0 loser to Chris­tian Brothers Academy and the scout team could again see sig­nif­i­cant time.

“We kind of stress com­pe­ti­tion through­out the year,” Claw­son said. “From terms fromthe en­tire team to have a win like this and have ev­ery­one con­trib­ute on the field, it does great for the whole at­mos­phere of ev­ery­one.

“This was a game we needed tonight, es­pe­cially af­ter last week, the ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing loss. So for the team to be able to come out and play like it did, it’s just one step­ping stone to where we want to go.”

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