The Shenendehowa football team is at its best when it has two strong running backs.
The Plainsmen were going to have that last year with Suhayb Banks and Bronson Greene until Banks tore his ACL in the second game of the season. Greene carried on as best as he could, but Shen was not the same without Banks as the Plainsmen finished third behind Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa in the Empire Division standings.
This year, Greene has a new running partner in Tony Fusco, who transferred from Queensbury when his parents moved to Clifton Park. And judging from last Saturday's 38-10 season-opening victory at Bethlehem, the duo is going to give opponents headaches.
Greene rushed for nearly 150 yards and scored two touchdowns, while Fusco gained 120 yards and added a pair of scoring runs to lead the Plainsmen.
Obviously, [having Fusco] prevents any team from focusing on Greene, said Shen coach Brent Steuerwald. "What's interesting about both of these kids is that they wound up with one of them having one more carry than the other, and they both had well over 100 yards."
Shen's running game wasn't its only strong point in the season opener. The Plainsmen's first unit defense shut out Bethlehem through the first three quarters as the offense built a 38-0 lead.
"It gives them some confidence and something to shoot for [in future games]," said Steuerwald. "When a team plays great defense, it makes the offense look good."
Shen will try to keep itself on the right track when it plays Albany Saturday afternoon at Bleecker Stadium. The Falcons are looking to break a 20-game losing streak under new head coach Jon McClement.
"They're very big, they're very physical, they tackle hard and they run to the ball well," said Steuerwald.
In other football action this weekend, Saratoga and Ballston Spa meet in an Empire Division game, while Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake hosts Averill Park in a Class A game Friday.
It will be the first meeting between Saratoga and Ballston Spa since last year's Class AA Super Bowl, which the Blue Streaks won 31-7.
Saratoga and Ballston Spa won their season openers last weekend. The Blue Streaks handled Guilderland 28-12, while the Scotties defeated Albany 50-7.
BH-BL began its season last Friday with a 25-15 victory at Lansingburgh. Evan Nusbaum rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns.""