Somers football runs past Burnt Hills in the Class A East Regional

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake quarterback Tyler Manning fakes a handoff to running back Michael Frattarola against Somers in the NYSPHSAA East Regional at Mahopac High School Friday.
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Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake quarterback Tyler Manning fakes a handoff to running back Michael Frattarola against Somers in the NYSPHSAA East Regional at Mahopac High School Friday.

MAHOPAC — The speed and efficiency of the Somers offense proved to be too much for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake football Friday night in the NYSPHSAA Class A East Regional at Mahopac High School.

The Section I champion Tuskers scored on six of its eight possessions and returned a Spartan punt for a touchdown, dropping the Section II champion, 48-14.

“The quarterback threw the ball very well and they were very efficient,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said. “They’ve got speed, their receivers catch the ball in space and when you have that, both run and pass, it really puts a lot of stress on your defense.”

The Somers backfield combined for 260 yards on the ground, and quarterback Matt Fitzsimons completed 12 of 17 passes for 152 yards.

Burnt Hills created just 176 yards of offense on Friday, which included several big gains late in the contest.

“We knew that coming in and we had to play a perfect game,” Shell said. “When you play really good teams, they take you out of what you like to do, and Somers did.”

Tuskers running back Derek Marcus scored twice in the first half, including a 33-yard score, and set up Somers’ fourth score with a 27-yard reception after a short screen pass from Fitzsimons for the 28-0 halftime lead.

Shell said he felt the Spartans could mount a rally in the second half.

“We just needed to sustain some first downs and the run game,” Shell said. “You have to be able to run the ball in big games like this and we struggled running the ball, but their defense is outstanding and that’s kind of how the night went.”

Burnt Hills survived the Tuskers’ opening drive of the second half, recovering a fumble deep in its own territory. A three-and-out by the Spartans led to a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown by Somers’s Ravi Dass Jr. for a 35-0 lead.

Senior defensive back Rocco Mareno provided a bright spot for the Spartans, rushing and then stripping Fitzsimons of the football early in the fourth quarter. He picked up the loose ball and ran it in for the Spartans’ first score from 25-yards out.

“Our coaches preach it every week, go over drills with us every week to just force turnovers and be able to scoop and score off of that,” Mareno said. “I knew that we needed some points, so I just knew I had to pick up the ball and go.”

Senior Jaleel Joseph lifted the mood of the Burnt Hills sideline late, scoring from 38 yards out with less than three minutes remaining..

“I told them this game is not going to define who they are, the type of kids they are,” Shell said. “They had a great season; we ran into a really good football team.”

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake       0 0 0 14 — 14

Somers           7 21 7 13 — 48

S — Marcus 4 run (Savino kick)

S — Marcus 32 run (Savino kick)

S — Fitzsimons 1 run (Savino kick)

S — Kapica 1 run (Savino kick)

S — Dass 52 punt return (Savino kick)

B — Mareno 25 fumble recovery (Sbuttoni kick)

B — Joseph 38 run (Sbuttoni kick)

S — Swee 44 run (kick failed)

RAVENA, GREENWICH ADVANCE

The other two Section II football champions to play in regional semifinal action Friday were both victorious. In Class B, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk took home a 39-21 win over Section VII champion Peru, while Class D’s Greenwich notched a 41-20 victory over Section I champion Tuckahoe.

The other two Section II champions, Class AA’s Christian Brothers Academy and Class C’s Schuylerville, will both be in regional games Saturday.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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