The final two minutes of the fourth quarter was a microcosm of the first half of the game. Every time Shaker marched down the field and scored, Niskayuna responded with a scoring drive of its own.
That pattern changed in the second half, though. Both teams made adjustments, with Shaker using more defensive backs to guard against Niskayuna's passing attack and the Silver Warriors using their running backs more to maintain possession of the ball.
"We found a couple of things we could do on defense to slow them down, and they moved a few guys outside that enabled us to move the ball on the ground," said Furey.
"We did move the ball, but we had a turnover on their 30-yard line (in the third quarter) after we had gotten a first down, and that hurt us because I believe we would have gone on to score," said Bender.
Peters accounted for all of Niskayuna's touchdowns as he threw two scoring strikes to Pete Furey and Kadeem Miller, as well as adding a two-yard touchdown run. Shaker's Jeremy Pryor had a pair of touchdown runs one week after scoring four times in a 44-34 victory over Colonie.
Niskayuna and Shaker face tough opponents this week. The Silver Warriors host Guilderland in a Class AA crossover game, while the Blue Bison tackle unbeaten LaSalle.
"They've got very good running backs, and they're huge up front " on defense, anyway," said coach Furey of Guilderland, which is coming off losses to Shenendehowa and Ballston Spa in which the Dutchmen led in the second half. "So, they present some challenges for us."
"(LaSalle is) a very, very good team offensively, and don't count them out defensively," said Bender. "They're solid on both sides of the ball."
West Division showdown set
The Schalmont football team faces another big Class B West Division game Friday when it travels to defending Section II champion Cobleskill-Richmondville.