Spartans dominate in regional finals

Consider Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s 2006 loss in the Class A state playoffs to Indian River avenged

Consider Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s 2006 loss in the Class A state playoffs to Indian River avenged.

Paul Layton played an amazing game, and the Spartans’ defense proved itself up to the task of reining in a similarly explosive offense as the Spartans recorded their first state tournament victory, 35-12, in Watertown Friday night.

The Spartans (11-0) advance to play Nyack of Section I, which beat Section IX champion Cornwall,


Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s

senior quarterback accounted for four touchdowns, rushed for 178 yards and passed for 109.

Only four Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake drives ended without points as Indian River struggled to stop its option offense. The Spartans were not forced to punt until late in the third quarter, and turned the ball over on downs when playing their backups in the waning minutes of the game.

“Our offense was great,” Layton said. “Our offensive line opened a lot of holes, and we were able to run the sweep effectively, which opened up the passing game.”

The Spartans opened the scoring in the first quarter following a Curtis Dukes’ fumble. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake set out on a 10-play, 68-yard drive during which it averaged 6.2 yards-per-carry. The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake offensive line smothered the Indian River defensive front, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

“As good as Paul played tonight, all those kids played well,” Spartans coach Matt Shell said. “Especially in this game, just like every other sport, you’re not going to win on the shoulders of one guy.”

The drive was capped off on a 14-yard run by Layton, who then added the extra point.

The Spartans scored again on their next drive and overcame a pair of holding penalties that

negated long gains.

On third-and-four from the

29-yard line, Layton used play-action to draw the Indian River safeties before throwing a rainbow to the back-right corner of the end zone and the outstretched hands of Kraig Page.

The Spartans only outgained the Warriors, 195-163, in the first half, but Indian River struggled to finish drives as its quarterbacks found themselves under near-constant pressure from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s line.

“The defense came up and made every single play,” Layton said. “They came up huge every single time. To be able to stop a player like Curtis Dukes, it shows that our defense is the real deal.”

BH-BL 7 7 7 14 — 35

Indian River 0 6 6  0 — 12

First quarter

BH-BL – Layton 14 run (Layton kick).

Second quarter

BH-BL – Page 29 pass from Layton (Layton kick).

IR – Fish 5 run (2 pt. run failed).

Third quarter

BH-BL – Layton 1 run (Layton kick).

IR – Green 37 pass from Brown (2 pt. run failed).

Fourth quarter

BH-BL – Paluba 4 run (Layton kick).

BH-BL – Layton 12 run (Layton kick).

Categories: High School Sports

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