Burnt Hills takes advantage of game experience in win over Queensbury

Michael Puglisi of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake runs with the football during Friday's Class A game against Queensbury at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Centennial Field.
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Michael Puglisi of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake runs with the football during Friday's Class A game against Queensbury at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Centennial Field.

BURNT HILLS — Queensbury played its first football game of the “Fall II” season Friday against a Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake team with two contests already under its belt.

That discrepancy often showed, and what is traditionally a competitive game between Class A rivals never materialized on Centennial Field.

Burnt Hills produced touchdowns on its final three drives of the opening half to set the tone in what was a 49-0 win, and the most decisive margin of victory by either team in the series.

“It’s big,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said of the previous games this season, wins against Ballston Spa and Niskayuna. “You get a big gauge of your guys and you move kids around. Having two games, that is a big advantage for sure.”

Burnt Hills looked sharp running the ball, with Michael Frattarola collecting three touchdowns, and its defense handed Queensbury a shutout loss for the first time since the 2010 season. Burnt Hills also administered that one in a 48-0 triumph.

“We played real physical,” Shell said. “We blocked real well and tackled real well. Those are the fundamental pieces we talk about.”

Queensbury got 101 rushing yards from Jason Rodriguez, but came up short on several fourth-down plays, committed a few untimely penalties and had a pass picked off by Sean Cable.

“This is something new, like a lot of other things this year,” said Queensbury coach Matt Crossman, whose team was unable to play its first two games due to COVID-19 issues. “We’ll go back to the film, break some things down and get ready for Ballston Spa [on April 12].”

Over the last several years Queensbury and Burnt Hills often met in late-season encounters with much on the line. Queensbury got the best of Burnt Hills in the 2019 season in a Week 7 game (28-12) and again in a Week 9 Section II semifinal (22-11).

“Some of the older guys were saying they didn’t want what happened [in 2019] to happen this year,” Frattarola said.

Frattarola, a junior, ran for 125 yards and his three touchdowns on 11 carries in his first varsity game against Queensbury. Burnt Hills senior quarterback Caeden LaPietro scored on a sneak and hit Vincent Venditti with a touchdown pass.

“I thought it was going to be a battle and go back and forth,” Frattarola said. “We did a better job overall. It feels really good to come out with a win.”

Burnt Hills’ offensive line that includes fullback-turned guard Aidan Knapic played a significant role in the win as LaPietro and Michael Puglisi combined for 102 yards to complement Frattarola’s effort.

“We couldn’t have done it without them. They were very good,” Frattarola said of his line. “All of them are quick and aggressive. They know their assignments. They know what to do.”

Burnt Hills punted on its first possession before Frattarola ran 15 yards for a touchdown, Rocco Mareno ran four yards on an end-around for a TD, and LaPietro scored from the 1. Frattarola raced 60 yards to the end zone three plays into the third quarter, and Puglisi went 23 yards for a TD soon after.

“Our defensive coordinator said it felt like we had 10 on defense today,” Crossman said.

With his 101 yards on 17 carries, Rodriguez extended his school record to 11 straight games with over 100.

Queensbury 0 0 0 0 — 0

Burnt Hills 7 14 21 7 — 49

B — Frattarola 15 run (Sbuttoni kick)

B  — Mareno 4 run (Sbuttoni kick)

B — LaPietro 1 run (Sbuttoni kick)

B — Frattarola 60 run (Sbuttoni kick)

B — Puglisi 23 run (Sbuttoni kick)

B — Venditti 22 pass from LaPietro (Sbuttoni kick)

B — Frattarola 1 run (Sbuttoni kick)

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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