Defense keeps Spartans going, 19-0

Paul Layton played a splendid first half in Saturday night’s Section II Class A championship game ma
H-BL’s Paul Layton drops back and fakes a handoff as he prepares to pass in first half Section2 Class A Super Bowl action Saturday in Colonie.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
H-BL’s Paul Layton drops back and fakes a handoff as he prepares to pass in first half Section2 Class A Super Bowl action Saturday in Colonie.

Paul Layton played a splendid first half in Saturday night’s Section II Class A championship game matching Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Bishop Maginn.

The Spartans’ defense was fabulous throughout.

“Our defense, oh my God. I can’t give them enough credit,” Layton said after Burnt Hills’ second title-game success in three years, a 19-0 victory at Colonie High School. “They won the game for us.”

Camren McKenna intercepted the first two passes of his varsity career, Tyler Paluba

recovered two fumbles and the Spartans

recorded three sacks while limiting the Golden Griffins to 140 yards of offense in the first Class A championship-game shutout since Amsterdam’s 32-0 blanking of Queensbury in 2004.

Burnt Hills, 10-0 and the state’s No. 4-ranked team, advances to Friday’s regional game against unbeaten Indian River at 7 p.m. at Watertown.

“Our staff did a great job of getting the kids prepared, and they played lights out,” said BH-BL coach Matt Shell. “They stepped up and made big plays, defensively. In big games, you have to do that.”

“Our defense did amazing,” said senior running back Erik Vuill­aume, who produced the game’s first touchdown and totaled 107 yards on 19 carries. “We got the shutout we wanted, and offensively, we did what we needed to do.”

Burnt Hills (10-0) built a 13-0 halftime lead while allowing Bishop Maginn (9-1) to cross the midfield line only once. The Golden Griffins reached the BH-BL 28 and 18 on their first two drives of the second half, but those ended on a sack by a swarm of defenders and a fumble which Paluba pounced on. They never threatened again.

“Our defense has been great all season,” said McKenna, a senior safety, who was pressed into action when starter Keaton Flint went down with a knee injury. “It was a team effort, and it was great to be a part of it.”

Layton played a major role in the victory with his big first half, which included a long pass to set up Vuillaume’s touchdown, a touchdown run of his own, and a field goal on the final play.

“He’s been here before,” Shell said of the senior quarterback, who in the first half ran 11 times for 73 yards and hit eight of 12 passes for 123 yards. “He understands what the deal is.”

Layton quarterbacked Burnt Hills to its 37-7 Super Bowl win over Lansingburgh in 2006, while the Spartans lost a wild shootout to the Knights in this game a year ago, 28-25. With Layton calling the signals, BH-BL has put together a 28-3 record.

“This is my favorite game,” said Layton. “I was able to win it as a sophomore, but this is a better feeling because it’s my senior year.”

Flint ran a perfect out-and-up pattern and Layton dropped the ball in for a 45-yard gain, and Layton broke off a pair of 14-yard runs, to highlight BH-BL’s opening drive, which Vuillaume capped with his one-yard touchdown plunge.

Paluba’s first fumble recovery gave the Spartans the ball at the Maginn 43 in the second quarter, and five plays later, Layton scored on a six-yard dash. McKenna’s first interception led to Layton’s 28-yard field goal and a 13-0 advantage.

“Once we got that third score, we kind of forced their hand,” Shell said.

Layton set up that third score when he ran 20 yards for a first down on a fake punt, taking the ball to the Maginn 25, and his nine-yard pass to Kraig Page moved it to the 10.

“The fake punt was all on him,” Shell said of Layton. “He saw it and took advantage of the sit­uation. That’s having a high IQ for the game.”

A 25-yard run by Vuillaume helped set up another field goal by Layton with 3:27 left, a 27-yarder, and McKenna ended a frustrating evening for the Golden Griffins with his second interception. Three plays before that, BH-BL ends Jacob

Myers and Zach Morton combined to sack Bunduka Kargbo for the third time.

“He’s a great athlete,” Shell said of Bishop Maginn’s senior quarterback, who completed only two of 14 passes for 39 yards and managed 10 rushing yards on nine carries. “We had to make sure we did a good job on him.”

Tymear Mallory led Maginn with 39 rushing yards on nine carries. Mallory had a 35-yard run to begin the third quarter, and James Torres caught a 22-yard pass later in the period for Maginn’s most signif­icant plays.

“This wasn’t a pretty game,” said Layton. “It was a tough game, but we found a way to win.”

Layton finished with 93 rushing yards on 22 carries, and went

12-for-19 for 168 yards through the air — connecting with seven different receivers ­— to help send the Spartans to the state quarterfinals.

The football team is the Burnt Hills’ eighth this fall to capture a Section II championship.

Bishop Maginn 0  0 0 0 —  0

Burnt Hills 6 10 0 3 — 19

B — Vuillaume 1 run (kick failed).

B — Layton 6 run (Layton kick).

B — Layton 28 FG.

B — Layton 27 FG.

Class B

HUDSON FALLS 21, RAVENA 0

AMSTERDAM — Joe McMurry ran for 264 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the 9-1 Tigers advanced to regional play.

McMurry ran his season total to 32 touchdowns by running for two scored and returning an interception for another as the Tigers won their first sectional championship since 2000.

Hudson Falls will play Section VII champ Beekmantown in Friday’s

7 p.m. regional game at Knox Field in Johnstown.

Ravena finished the season 7-3.

Ravena 0 0 0 0 —  0

Hudson Falls 7 0 6 8 — 21

HF — McMurry 3 run (Raggi kick).

HF — McMurry 38 interception return (kick failed).

HF — McMurry 60 run (Thomas pass from Mellon).

Class D

RENSSELAER 60,

FORT EDWARD 14

GLENS FALLS — Jashem Hamilton accounted for five touchdowns as the Rams dethroned the two-time champion Flying Forts, and won their first sectional champ­ionship since 1995.

Hamilton ran for four touchdowns, and returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Shane Brozowski passed for a touchdown and ran for another, and Paul Dominy and Nate Butler also ran for TDs for Rensselaer.

The 10-1 Rams play Section VII’s Moriah in next weekend’s regional game. Fort Edward finished 6-4.

Fort Edward 0  8   0  6 — 14

Rensselaer 14 15 13 18 — 60

R — Hamilton 3 run (Foust kick).

R — Britt 26 pass from Brozowski (Foust kick).

R — Hamilton 54 run (DeLosSantos run).

R — Brozowski 13 run (Foust kick).

FE — Phillips 25 pass from Carpenter (Cummings run).

R — Hamilton 1 run (kick failed).

R — Dominy 35 run (Foust kick).

R — Hamilton 22 run (kick failed).

FE — McCarthy 15 run (run failed).

R — Hamilton 81 kickoff return (kick failed).

R — Butler 90 run (kick failed).

Categories: High School Sports

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