By reputation, the Niskayuna football team is known as a great offensive team.
This year, it could be the defense that separates the Silver Warriors from the rest of the Southeast Division.
Niskayuna (1-0 division, 2-1 overall) bounced back from its 46-7 loss to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake two weeks ago by shutting out Mohonasen 28-0 last Thursday.
We had a great defensive effort, said Niskayuna coach John Furey. "They had a few big plays early on, but once we settled down, we did a great job of stopping them."
The Silver Warriors' defense has been sharp for the most part in 2009. They allowed two touchdowns and scored the game-winning points in a 22-14 victory over Glens Falls to open the season, and they held BH-BL's high-octane attack in check through the first three quarters before the Spartans blew the game open with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Niskayuna's offense hadn't been quite as sharp as its defense in the first two weeks, but it played well against Mohonasen (0-1, 0-3). Quarterback Kyle Bayly threw two touchdown passes, including a 55-yard scoring strike to Ryan Alden to get the Silver Warriors on the scoreboard late in the first quarter. Alden caught five passes for 92 yards and added 52 rushing yards.
"I think things are kind of falling into place [offensively]," said Furey.
The Silver Warriors will get tested again Friday when they travel to Averill Park to face a Warrior squad that mirrors Niskayuna's pass-oriented offense.
"I expect the ball to be in the air a lot. Both teams run the spread offense," said Furey.
Meanwhile, Mohonasen has a tough assignment as it searches for its first win of the season. The Mighty Warriors go to Troy Saturday to play the Flying Horses, who have outscored their opponents 147-7 in winning their first three games. Troy's most recent victim was Scotia-Glenville, as tailbacks Jordan Canzeri and Shatick Lewis ran for more than 260 combined yards in a 67-0 victory over the Tartans last Friday.
In other weekend football action, Schalmont (1-0, 1-2) entered the win column for the first time this season by beating Johnstown 35-26 last Friday.
The Sabres trailed the Class B West Division contest entering the fourth quarter, but touchdown runs of eight and two yards by quarterback Vincent Gallo capped Schalmont's comeback.
Gallo rushed for 236 yards and scored all five of Schalmont's touchdowns. J.J. Murphy was perfect in his extra point kicks.
The Sabres visit Hudson Falls Saturday.""