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GUILDERLAND: One-two punch KOs Shen

All season long, Shenendehowa's defense seemingly came up with the stops the Plainsmen needed to win games.

But Shen hadn't met a duo like Guilderland's Paul Booker and Andrew Smith.

Booker rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns, while Smith threw for one score and ran for another to lead the Dutchmen to a 34-21 Empire Division victory over the Plainsmen in Friday's football game in Clifton Park.

As a result, Guilderland (6-1) won the Empire Division title in a tiebreaker over Shen and Ballston Spa its first championship of any type since 1971.

I don't know if it goes down as one of the best Guilderland teams ever, but this is one of the most memorable seasons we've had," said Smith, who accounted for 202 yards between his running and his passing.

"We executed on offense, defense and special teams," said Guilderland coach Dan Penna. "And then, Drew Smith and Paul Booker made some big plays in the second half."

The Dutchmen built a 21-0 lead and then weathered two Shen rallies to knock the Plainsmen (6-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten in Section II.

"It was painful to lose after winning the first six games, but we'll go back and get ready for next week," said Shen coach Brent Steuerwald.

Booker sparked Guilderland's offense in the first half. The 6-foot, 4-inch, 205-pound senior tailback scored on a 7-yard run early in the second quarter and added a 21-yard touchdown scamper later in the period to put the Dutchmen ahead 14-0.

"I wanted to do nothing else than score tonight," said Booker.

Booker also had a key reception in the second quarter " hauling in a 48-yard touchdown pass from Smith with 1:30 left that gave Guilderland a 21-0 lead.

Shen's offense " which lay dormant through much of the first half " sprang to life in the third quarter. Using a quick count at the line of scrimmage, quarterback Charles Miller caught Guilderland's defense off balance several times on the Plainsmen's first series. That allowed Shen to drive quickly down to Guilderland's 9-yard line, where Miller completed the series with a touchdown pass to Rodney Campbell.

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