The scoreboard was the only thing not working Friday night for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake football team.
Just as well. It would have needed a rest at some point, as the host Spartans put up nine touchdowns, highlighted by a
35-point second quarter, in dominating reigning sectional champion Lansingburgh,
60-14, in a Class A crossover game.
The win was the third in four games for the Spartans against the Knights in Lansingburgh’s third season in Class A.
The teams have split the last two Class A Super Bowls, with the Knights avenging a regular-season home-field loss with a dramatic
28-25 win in the sectional final.
“It means a lot for our team,” said senior quarterback Paul Layton, who personally outgained the Knights, 192 yards to 15, in the first half as the 2-0 Spartans built a 42-0 lead at the break. “We played well. They’re a good team, but tonight was our night. I’m real proud of everyone.
“Maybe for the seniors, it’s a little bigger. But our coaches have always told us to put the past behind us. It’s a new year.
The loss was the worst a Pete Porcelli-coached Lansingburgh team has suffered.
“We were thoroughly destroyed,” said Porcelli, who. guided the Knights to four straight Class B Super Bowls before the school moved up to Class A. “It was a complete embarrassment for four quarters. I am thoroughly embarrassed.”
Going into the game, Porcelli knew his young team would have trouble with the Spartans’ veteran backfield, led by Layton, beginning his third season as the starting quarterback.
“When I saw them on film, and knowing I had a young team, I knew it was going to be the Time-Warner-3 Massacre of the Week,” he said, referring to the game being televised locally on cable TV. “We’ll be back.”
“I thought we played very well on both sides of the ball. It was a big win,’ said Burnt Hills senior lineman Chris Van Alstyne, who co-captains the team along with Layton. “We just keep driving the ball. We keep working together. That’s’ what we do.”
“I looked at it like any other game,” said Layton. “But deep down, you know you have a rivalry with Lansingburgh, and we want to win. Tonight, we got the job done.”
Lansingburgh won the coin toss, deferred, and Layton and the Spartans needed 10 plays to go 64 yards, with Layton hooking up with sophomore receiver Keaton Flint on a 19-yard pass for the score.
It was a scene that was to be repeated throughout the half, as the Spartans’ offense put up touchdowns on all five possessions, and Tyler Paluba returned an interception for a score. Flint caught three TD passes.
Lansingburgh, meanwhile, went three and out on its four full possessions in the first half, in addition to the Burnt Hills defensive touchdown.
“I’m happy with the effort all of the kids gave, both sides of the ball,” said Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell. “Any time you play well and do the right things, it’s good.”
Layton ran his offense to perfection, using a variety of running backs— with Erik Vuillaume particularly having a strong game. The Spartans racked up 14 first downs — in addition to the five TDs — over the first 24 minutes.
Layton often left the Knights’ defense guessing which back had the ball, only to find out 15 to 20 yards into their backfield as the Spartan line fired off the ball all game.
“Paul understands what he needs to do,” said Shell. “He doesn’t do more than what he needs to do. He makes sure he’s making the proper reads and decisions.”
Layton was also able to appreciate the defensive effort of the Spartans.
“They have a great offense that’s real hard to stop,” he said of Lansingburgh, which is trying to replace three seniors from its 2007 backfield, including Kenny Youngs, who stands second in both rushing yards and points scored in Section II . “We put together a great game plan on defense and shut them down.”
“Hats off to the kids on defense. They did a real nice job,” said Shell, whose defensive unit didn’t allow a first down until Kyle Murray broke off an 80-yard touchdown run midway through the third period. “They did what they were supposed to do, they ran hard to the ball, which you have to do against Lansingburgh.
“Any time you can keep an offense that produces the points they can in a short amount of time under control is big. That was huge.”
Van Alstyne and Layton both know that their team’s work is far from over, with Northwest Division games beginning next weekend.
“We made a statement tonight, but there are a lot of great teams in Class A,” said Layton “We’re going to go one game at a time.”
Lansingburgh 0 0 7 7 — 14
BH-BL 7 35 12 6 — 35
BH — Flint 19 pass from Layton (Layton kick).
BH — Henderson 14 run (Layton kick).
BH — Layton 22 run (Layton kick).
BH — Paluba 30 interception return (Layton kick).
BH — Flint 5 pass from Layton (Layton kick).
BH — Paluba 4 run (Layton kick).
BH — Layton 1 run (kick failed).
L — Murray 80 run (Fane kick).
BH — Flint 60 pass from Newmann (kick failed).
BH — Owens 2 run (kick failed).
L — Hepp 2 run (Fane kick)).
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