SARATOGA SPRINGS — Three plays into its homecoming football game and Saratoga Springs was looking at a deficit, courtesy of a long Niskayuna pass play.
In the second quarter Friday night, Saratoga sizzled, and rode an incredible 42-point outburst to a 56-13 Class AA victory.
Ashton Capone scored the first five touchdowns in the second-quarter explosion of points, and finished with six as the senior running back doubled his touchdown output from Saratoga’s first four games.
“It was exciting,” Capone, a senior, said. “There was so much energy out there. It was good to be out there.”
Capone was awfully good, and so was his offensive line.
“The line did their job and opened up holes,” Capone said. “They created some big holes. After I got through, most of the time I had one guy to be beat.”
“Once we got going and kind of started wearing them down, the kids sensed it and we took over,” Jones said.
Chris Klimek had been Saratoga’s standout back leading up to Friday’s contest with a trio of 100-plus yard rushing performances and a team-leading six touchdowns. When Capone scored form 15 yards out to cap the Blue Streaks’ opening drive of the third quarter, he reached six touchdowns for the game, and upped his own season total to nine.
Capone gained the end zone on runs of 3, 7, 16 and 37 yards in the second quarter before he turned a short screen pass into another 37-yard score. Christian Kondo caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jake Williams as time expired for Saratoga’s final second-quarter TD.
“Chris has been running the ball well,” Blue Streaks coach Terry Jones said. “Our plan all along was to get him [Capone] more reps.”
Capone ran 18 times for 188 yards, and caught two passes for 93 yards. In the first half, he ran for 134 yards on 12 attempts.
“He hit the hole real well tonight and he had a good burst of speed,” Jones said. “He was with us last year and had some good moments. We’re not surprised by it.”
Niskayuna scored three plays into the game when Richie Quinn turned an over-the-shoulder pass from Dan Brownell into a 65-yard touchdown. Quinn would finish with four receptions for 106 yards.
“It was the mentality of getting hit in the mouth,” Capone said. “You get hit, you got to come back.”
Carter Steingraber and Dion Williams had interceptions for Saratoga, James Capone recovered a fumble, and Hunter Regels sacked Brownell twice.
Saratoga (4-1) has won two in a row since its lone setback against Shaker, and has Guilderland next.
“We just want to keep building momentum,” Ashton Capone said. “Coach tells us every week that every game counts for [sectional] seeding.”
Jake Williams was 7-for-13 passing for 240 yards. Ashton Capone caught a 56-yard pass before his second touchdown broke a 7-7 tie.
Leo O’Brien scored the second Niskayuna (1-4) touchdown on the game’s final play, taking in a 13-yard pass from Michael Dean.
Niskayuna 7 0 0 0 — 13
Saratoga 0 42 14 0 — 56
N — Quinn 65 pass from Brownell (Brownell kick)
S — A. Capone 3 run (Kopraski kick)
S — A. Capone 7 run (Kopraski kick)
S — A. Capone 16 run (Kopraski kick)
S — A. Capone 37 run (Kopraski kick)
S — A. Capone 37 pass from J. Williams (Kopraski kick)
S — Kondo 20 pass from J. Williams (Kopraski kick)
S — A. Capone 15 run (Kopraski kick)
S — McArthur 5 run (Kopraski kick)
N — O’Brien 13 pass from Dean (no attempt)