It took only five plays from scrimmage for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake to score its first touchdown. The Spartans scored on their next two drives, as well, and the final rout of Section II’s football championship weekend was on.
Brandon Beatty ran for three of his four touchdowns in a dominant first half, and the Spartans rolled to their third straight Class A title and fourth in five years Saturday night with a 42-21 win over Lansingburgh at Shenendehowa’s Steuerwald Stadium.
Keaton Flint and Evan Nusbaum also scored touchdowns, Nusbaum booted six extra points and BH-BL (10-0) kept Lansingburgh (8-2) at bay with a trio of second-half takeaways in its 30th consecutive victory against Section II foes.
Burnt Hills will take on Potsdam (9-1) in a regional game Friday night, tentatively set for St. Lawrence University.
“We had heard about how much Lansingburgh has been improving,” Beatty, a senior running back, said after rushing for 127 yards on 15 carries in his fourth title-game appearance. “We heard if there was going to be an upset in the Super Bowls, it could be them. We didn’t like that one bit.”
Saturday night’s game was nothing like the season-opening matchup between the teams, when Burnt Hills had to rally for a 25-15 win. The Spartans were up, 35-0, Saturday after Beatty’s second touchdown run of the second quarter, and 42-7, following another sprint to the end zone by Beatty in the third period.
“It feels great, but we want to go further,” said BH-BL senior center Jake Batty. “We hope this isn’t the end of the road.”
Burnt Hills’ lopsided win followed Schalmont’s earlier Saturday, and those by Troy, Hoosick Falls and Cambridge Friday night.
“When you can call yourself a champion, it’s pretty special,” said BH-BL coach Matt Shell. “We’ve been fortunate to do it the last few years.”
The Spartans offensive line group of Batty, Nick Marchesiello, Nick Crocetto, Justin Carrie and Kyle Gagnon, along with tight end Mike Brienza and wingback Marc Cerrone, had much to do with Saturday night’s successful outing by the state’s No. 3-ranked team. Their blocking helped Nusbaum rush for 136 yards and Flint gain 132.
“Every one of them played great,” said Beatty of his line mates. “It was their best game of the year. I barely got touched.”
“We knew Lansingburgh had some big guys up front. Some real big guys,” said Batty. “We knew if we came off the ball hard, took good angles and kept moving our feet, we’d be OK.”
Nusbaum capped BH-BL’s first drive with a 39-yard scoring run, Beatty delivered from 44 yards out three plays into the Spartans next series, and Flint notched a 43-yard touchdown three plays into their possession after that.
“As soon as we put two on the board, we wanted to put three up,” said Batty. “We wanted to keep pushing for more.”
The Spartans did, with Beatty scoring on a pair of eight-yard runs in the second quarter, his second effort coming after a 46-yard dash by Flint.
“We heard Lansingburgh was at our level, and we didn’t like that, either,” said Beatty. “We felt like we could make a statement, and we did.”
“I’m proud of how the kids responded,” said Shell. “It’s a good feeling when they play well like that.”
Anthony Fogarty ran 57 yards for Lansingbirgh’s first touchdown late in the second quarter, and Beatty scored his fourth on a 30-yard burst in the third quarter. Fogarty and Marcus Little hauled in touchdown passes from Carlos Grillo covering 86 and 16 yards inside the final five minutes of the game.
Earlier on, Jack Guba and Connor Young had intercepted passes from Grillo, and Anthony Lauria recovered a fumble to derail Lansingburgh drives.
Fogarty rushed for 72 yards on eight carries, and also caught five passes for 121 yards in the Knights second straight Super Bowl loss
after last year’s Class B drubbing by Schalmont.
Like Beatty, Flint participated in his fourth Class A championship game. Flint played wide receiver for three years before shifting to quarter this season.
“This is such an unbelievable feeling,” said Beatty. “There’s not a lot of kids who can say they’ve been a part of four Super Bowls, and a part of three wins.”
Lansingburgh was the last area team to beat Burnt Hills, in the 2007 Class A final, 28-25.
Lansingburgh 0 7 0 14 — 21
BH-BL 21 14 7 0 — 42
B — Nusbaum 39 run (Nusbaum kick).
B — Beatty 44 run (Nusbaum kick).
B — Flint 43 run (Nusbaum kick).
B — Beatty 8 run (Nusbaum kick).
B — Beatty 8 run (Nusbaum kick).
L — Fogarty 57 run (Shaw kick).
B — Beatty 30 run (Nusbaum kick).
L — Fogarty 86 pass from Grillo (Fogarty run).
L — Little 16 pass from Grillo (pass failed).
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports