BURNT HILLS — When Troy and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake play a football game, there are usually high stakes on the line.
It’s only Week 2 of the 2021 season, and the teams are at different stages of experience, but on Friday night the Spartans were all-in.
Smartly executing in every aspect, Burnt Hills dominated Troy 49-0 in a Class A matchup of perennial powers.
The Spartans rushed for 324 yards, threw for 198 and held the Flying Horses to 180 yards from scrimmage, 64 of them gained on their last drive of the game — which ended just shy of the goal line when Troy quarterback Azari Johnson was pushed out of bounds at Burnt Hills’ 1-yard line.
It never took Burnt Hills long to strike, shown by its first touchdown of the game, when it just took two plays for Tyler Manning to hit Rocco Mareno for a 74-yard scoring pass. Mareno avoided the grasp of a Troy player and then was off to the races.
That was another theme of the Spartans’ touchdowns: If they hit the second level, their speed was no match for Troy. On several scoring plays, Burnt Hills’ skill athletes were surrounded by white Troy jerseys, but they weren’t touched.
Running back Michael Frattarola, who finished with eight carries for 135 yards rushing and three touchdowns, credited the offensive line for doing such a bangup job.
“The linemen did a tremendous job,” Frattarola said. “They stepped it up today. They did a lot better than last week; couldn’t have done it without them.”
Manning, who finished 6 for 7 passing for 198 yards and three touchdowns, concurred.
“That line tonight is the line that’s going to be there all year, just flying around hitting everybody,” Manning said.
Frattarola’s first score on a nine-yard run gave Burnt Hills a 14-0 first-quarter lead, but the second quarter really highlighted the Spartans’ quick-strike capabilities, as they scored three touchdowns on the third, second and third plays of drives, respectively, including a 66-yard pass from Manning to Kevin Carney and a 63-yard rushing touchdown from Jaleel Joseph.
For the game, only one of Burnt Hills’ scores was a single-digit distance.
Burnt Hills’ starters added two quick strikes in the third quarter before giving way to the reserves. Michael Puglisi took a screen pass from Manning 37 yards into the end zone, and then Frattarola capped his night with a 44-yard rushing score with 6:38 left in the quarter.
Burnt Hills showed that it was older and more experienced. Of its 40 players, there is only one sophomore.Troy’s 31-player roster includes eight sophomores, four freshmen and an eighth-grader for coach John Barber, in his first year with the team after guiding Holy Trinity for many seasons.
Still, Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said it’s hard enough to win, period.
“You spend all this time to play 48 minutes,” Shell said. “You spend hours and hours in preparation between on-the-field practice, weight room and film for 48 minutes on a Friday night, so anytime you can win it’s very satisfying.”
Shell said the Spartans picked up on the little things they did wrong in a loss to Class AA Shaker last week and executed better against Troy. The Spartans get another test of their character next week when they play a non-league contest against Class AA Rush-Henrietta of Section V next Saturday.
Troy 0 0 0 0 — 0
BH-BL 14 21 14 0 — 49
BH — Mareno 74 pass from Manning (Sbuttoni kick)
BH — Frattarola 9 run (Sbuttoni kick)
BH — Carney 66 pass from Manning (Sbuttoni kick)
BH — Joseph 63 run (Sbuttoni kick)
BH — Frattarola 18 run (Sbuttoni kick)
BH — Puglisi 37 pass from Manning (Sbuttoni kick)
BH — Frattarola 44 run (Sbuttoni kick)