After tough losses to LaSalle and Troy, the Niskayuna football team had its first breakout performance of the season at Shaker's expense.
Quarterback Danny Peters rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another to lead the Silver Warriors to a 40-20 Liberty Division victory over the Blue Bison Friday in Latham.
I think the competition was stiff in those first two games, and we were young. I think we've grown up quite a bit," said Niskayuna coach John Furey.
"I'm feeling pretty good about where we're at right now, but we still have a long, long way to go."
"We were well prepared. The kids didn't see anything that we didn't practice for," said Shaker coach Dennis Bender. "It's one of those nights. I think we were flat on offense, defense, special teams " in every facet."
Niskayuna had a number of chances to score early in the first but were thwarted by a fumble after a 33-yard pass, a holding penalty on a 60-yard touchdown catch and another penalty after a 32-yard gain on a reverse run.
The Silver Warriors (1-2) overcame those mishaps late in the first quarter. They capped off an 11-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Peters, which he set up by completing a 28-yard pass to Chris Okonski. Gregg Rahn's extra point made it 7-0.
Shaker (1-2) tied the game early in the second quarter. Mark Ambrosio completed a 46-yard halfback option pass to Mike Gifford to set up the Blue Bison at Niskayuna's 4-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Ryan Gifford ran the ball into the end zone from a yard out, and Luke Walsh added the extra point.
The Silver Warriors answered 2:11 later when Peters connected with Okonski for a 40-yard touchdown pass. Peters then gave Niskayuna some breathing room when he scored on an eight-yard touchdown run, one play after throwing a 19-yard pass to Peter Furey. Rahn's third extra point gave the Silver Warriors a 21-7 lead with 3:12 left in the second quarter.