COLONIE: Round 1 goes to dad's team

Friday night's Shaker-Colonie football game had several story lines.

Colonie was trying to take back the town of Colonie Cup. Shaker star Mark Ambrosio was facing his father, Colonie coach Mike Ambrosio.

But the most important story line was that the game's loser would face an uphill battle to make the playoffs.

All of that made for a thrilling seesaw battle which ended in a Colonie 31-28 victory over Shaker in a Liberty Division game.

It was an emotional day for us, said coach Ambrosio. "We get the cup back home where it belongs. We came in saying the town is called Colonie for a reason. We're proud of what we accomplished against a great effort across the street there. They (Shaker) did a great job of keeping it close. We're just glad we came away with the win, and we got to move on."

Mark Ambrosio rushed for 59 yards and two touchdowns in his first game against his father's team. The second of Ambrosio's two touchdowns sparked a late Blue Bison rally that got them within three points.

"He's not half bad -- I think I'll take him home tonight," coach Ambrosio said of his son. "It was emotional. All week long, I was talking to him about the game, seeing him on film and just getting a chance to watch him.

"It was tough (during the game). He makes a good play out there, and it's a good play for them (but a) bad play for us. How do I handle it?" he added.

Colonie (3-2) made enough good plays to fend off Shaker, though. After Shaker (1-4) closed to within five points on Ryan Gifford's 36-yard touchdown pass to Eric Breton with 17 seconds left in the second quarter, the Blue Bison recovered an onside kick. But on the next play, James Kehrer intercepted Ambrosio on a halfback option and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown to give the Garnet Raiders a 25-14 lead.

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