Evan Nusbaum had a hand — and a foot — in a little bit of everything for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Friday night.
About the only thing he didn’t do was keep his shoe on his right foot for the entire game.
Nusbaum ran for two touchdowns, went 4-for-7 kicking extra-point attempts and shared a sack and a forced fumble on defense as the Spartans opened defense of their Section II Class A crown with a 46-14 victory over Scotia-Glenville.
“We’re all confident,” said Nusbaum, who played on Burnt Hills’ undefeated JV team last year before receiving a call up to the varsity in time for the Spartans’ playoff run to the state finals. “We’re just going to keep pushing, keep working, get better.”
Brandon Beatty ran for 115 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries for Burnt Hills, and Phillip Neumann went 3-for-3 passing for 83 yards, throwing two TDs. Keaton Flint caught two of those passes for 67 yards.
For Scotia, Adam Tabbert ran for 57 yards on 15 carries, and Joe Angley ran for 54 yards on 15 carries. Burnt Hills scored on the third play from scrimmage on a 50-yard completion from Neumann to Flint 59 seconds into the game. The Spartans followed that with touchdowns on the first play in both of their next two series — a 42-yard run by Nusbaum and a 14-yard run by Jahi Owens — putting Burnt Hills ahead, 20-0.
Owens’ touchdown came after Nusbaum and Robert Servidone sacked Tartans quarterback Cody Rumney at the Scotia 25-yard line, forcing a fumble that Jacob Meyers returned to the 14.
“It always helps when you come out right away and put some points on the board, and that’s what we did,” said Neumann, who was the back-up to the since graduated Paul Layton last season. “We feel like we can be very productive like we were tonight as an offense. We want to keep that going, and hopefully we can have much of the same in our games to come.”
“We didn’t want anyone writing us off,” said Nusbaum, who took over Layton’s kicking duties. “We lost some big names, but we’re all confident.”
By the time the full moon rose, orange and bright, above the east bleachers, the Spartans were on their way to their fifth touchdown in the game’s first 16 minutes.
Burnt Hills scored on each of its first six series, failing on the seventh only because the halftime horn sounded. With 40 seconds to go in the half, Nusbaum lost his shoe during a run at the Spartans’ 35. He went back to pick the loose footwear off the turf and jogged to the sideline.
“It wasn’t tight enough; it slipped out,” Nusbaum said with a smile. “It was a perfect day for football.”
“He’s probably only 165 pounds, but he doesn’t play that way,” Spartans coach Matt Shell said. “He plays a lot bigger than what’s listed in the program. He’s got a big-time heart. I’m real pleased with everybody’s performance and the way they worked tonight.”
Burnt Hills didn’t need many plays to score its other first-half touchdowns. Tyler Paluba caught a 16-yard pass from Neumann after three plays during one possession, and Beatty slipped through for a 32-yard run on the second play of his team’s sixth series.
With all that, the Spartans’ eight-play drive that ended with Nusbaum’s second TD of the night, a four-yard run with 8:51 remaining in the half, seemed liked an anomaly.
“They work hard, and they really enjoy the game, and when kids enjoy what they do, it’s fun,” Shell said. “Their heads are up high.”
Meanwhile, Burnt Hills’ defense limited Scotia to negative-two first-half yards. The Tartans made their initial first down with 4:23 remaining in the first half.
“The whole team played well, that was the big thing,” Neumann said.
Burnt Hills scored on its first possession of the third quarter, too, which also turned out to be its most sustained drive to that point — the Spartans used 12 plays and 7:25 before William Fisher rolled in for a one-yard touchdown. Nusbaum’s PAT gave Burnt Hills a 46-0 lead.
Tartans don’t fold
Still, Scotia did not go down meekly in the remainder of the game. The Tartans scored twice in the game’s final 6 1⁄2 minutes, with the first touchdown set up by a 27-yard pass from Rumney to Will Clune, splitting two defenders over the middle to get to the Spartans’ 28-yard line.
“I think it was a better catch than the ball,” Rumney said. “I tried to put it where they couldn’t get to it. I have confidence in him, and we work on it during practice.”
Seven plays later, including four runs by Angley for 16 yards, Rumney surged forward for a one-yard touchdown. That capped a 12-play 70-yard drive that began late in the third quarter.
“They’re really good,” Rumney said. “It felt good to finally to put up some points, that’s what our goal was.”
Scotia marched from its own 11 on its next series, with Tabbert contributing three runs for 36 yards, before Paul Lasher took a pitch to the left and scored on a 37-yard run.
Scotia-Glenville 0 0 0 14 — 14
BH-BL 27 12 7 0 — 46
BH — Flint 50 pass from Neumann (Nusbaum kick)
BH — Nusbaum 42 run (kick failed)
BH — Owens 14 run (Nusbaum kick)
BH — Paluba 16 pass from Neumann (Nusbaum kick)
BH — Nusbaum 4 run (kick failed)
BH — Beatty 32 run (kick failed)
BH — Fisher 1 run (Nusbaum kick)
SG — Rumney 1 run (Sutherland kick)
SG — Lasher 37 run (Sutherland kick)
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Categories: High School Sports