Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake knows playoff football, and demonstrated that to Mohonasen in their Class A quarterfinal, cruising to 47-6 home win Friday night.
Senior Tom Ruppel scored four first-half touchdowns, and the three-time defending champion Spartans scored TDs on six of their first seven possessions, none of which took more than five plays.
The win set up a semifinal next Friday against 8-0 Troy, last season’s Class AA champion.
“I had great blocking in front of me. The line made their blocks, held them through the whistle and opened up some holes,” said Ruppel, who scored on runs of three, 52, 60 and five yards as the Spartans opened up a 41-6 halftime lead in improving to 7-1.
“The line did a great job, and Tom did a great job running behind them,” said Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell after Ruppel finished with 161 yards on eight carries, all in the first half.
“When we run our sweep, our guards are the keys to it. They’re the ones who get outside,” said junior quarterback Ryan McDonnell. “The line blocked phenomenally tonight. That may have been their best game of the season. When they block like that, you see what we can do.”
Burnt Hills finished with 382 yards rushing on 38 attempts.
The Spartans’ defense more than did its share, holding Mohonasen to two first downs and 40 yards of offense in the first 24 minutes.
“We got taken behind the woodshed,” said Mohonasen coach Dennis Corbitt, whose 4-4 Mighty Warriors used a late fourth-and-17 touchdown run by quarterback Killian Tallman and subsequent two-point conversion to beat Averill Park, 15-14, last week and earn the program’s first playoff appearance since 2007.
“We’ve done some nice things this year, but that’s not who we are. I know we’re a better team than that, and that’s what I told the kids.
“Hats off to Matt and his staff. There isn’t a facet where Burnt Hills didn’t shine tonight.”
Mohonasen’s lone touchdown came on Trevon Tucker’s 91-yard kickoff return, off a reverse, that made it 21-6. Ruppel quelled any thoughts of a Mohonasen rally with his 60-yard TD run two plays later.
“It was important for us to get off to a good start,” said Shell, whose team began the postseason from an unfamiliar second seed, thanks to an early-season loss to Amsterdam. “You have to prepare the same, it’s still the playoffs. Mohonasen did a good job to get into the playoffs. They have good athletes.”
“The feeling was a little different in the locker room,” said senior Dylan Wydronkowski, who led a stifling defense from his middle linebacker position and also blocked a punt that led to his team’s third touchdown. “For the seniors, this was going to be our final home game.”
Shell downplayed any significance of the Spartans not being a No. 1 seed.
“It’s different, and maybe the seniors thought about it being their last home game,” Shell said. “We wanted to come out and play well. But I don’t think there’s any extra motivation.”
“It’s not the best situation to be in, because we’re on the road now,” said Wydronkowski. “I think maybe we have a little to prove, being a No. 2 seed, and we’ll likely have to play two No. 1s. This was a big statement game.”
“It’s more of a motivation, I think, in being the second seed,” said Ruppel. “We wanted to make a statement in the first round.”
McDonnell just wants to extend the season.
“It’s a little bit different, because we’re used to having two home games in the playoffs,” he said. “We’re treating it like any other playoff, whether we’re the No. 1 seed, the No. 2 seed or the No. 4 seed.”
Mohonasen 0 6 0 0 — 6
BH-BL 14 27 6 0 — 47
BH — Ruppel 3 run (McDonnell kick).
BH — Ruppel 52 run (McDonnell kick).
BH — Porter 3 run (McDonnell kick).
M — Tucker 91 kickoff return (kick failed).
BH — Ruppel 60 run (kick failed).
BH — Dillon 14 pass from McDonnell (McDonnell kick).
BH — Ruppel 5 run (McDonnell kick).
BH — Danz 25 run (kick failed).
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Categories: High School Sports