"We told them that it was 0-0 at the half and that we had to execute our offense," said Steuerwald.
"We knew they were going to come out (in the second half) and not try to get it all back in one play, and their offense started to click," said Penna.
Guilderland appeared ready to answer Shen's touchdown with a scoring drive of its own in the third quarter, but the Dutchmen fumbled the ball back to the Plainsmen inside Shen's 40-yard line. A long pass from Miller to Tom Kukuk got the Plainsmen into Guilderland's territory. From there, Shen kept the ball on the ground, and D.J. Evans capped the series with a 3-yard touchdown run to pull the Plainsmen within seven points.
Booker helped the Dutchmen stop the bleeding early in the fourth quarter when he took the handoff from Smith and ran 39 yards up the middle for a touchdown. E.J. Genzano added the extra point to re-establish Guilderland's 14-point lead.
Shen wasn't about to go away, though. The Plainsmen put together a gutty drive that included two fourth down conversions. Jason Bedard ended the series by diving over a pile of Guilderland defenders for a 1-yard touchdown that cut the Dutchmen's lead to 28-21.
"They showed a lot of desire to get back in the game," said Steuerwald.
"It started feeling like an arena football game," said Penna. "I wasn't worried about stopping (Shen) because I just wanted the ball back."
When Guilderland got the ball back, Smith made certain that would be as close as Shen got. The senior quarterback stepped back in a shotgun formation, saw the middle of the field open up and took off on a 60-yard touchdown run that sealed Guilderland's win.
"It's a play where I either give it to Booker or keep it myself," said Smith. "I saw the gap before the play began, and I just accelerated."