Glens Falls became the first team to build a lead on Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake this season when it drove the field to begin Saturday’s Class A Northwest Division game.
It didn’t take the Spartans too long to recover.
“I thought we’d come out right away and shove it down their throat,” Burnt Hills senior running back Erik Vuillaume said. “It took us a quarter to wake up.”
Vuillaume ran for a first-quarter touchdown, and added another in big second quarter as unbeaten and state-ranked Burnt Hills roughed up the Indians, 48-7, in its homecoming game.
Quarterback Paul Layton threw two of his three touchdown passes in the second quarter, to Keaton Flint and Kraig Page, and Burnt Hills (3-0,
5-0) stiffened defensively after Glens Falls quarterback Kyle Kelly capped an eight-play, 64-yard sequence with a one-yard keeper.
“You can tell a lot about a team when it faces adversity,” said Layton, who also found Brandon Beatty with a touchdown pass in the third quarter. “We came out a little flat. There were a lot of distractions, but we have no excuses. We handled it pretty well.”
“They scored, and our kids stepped up,” said
BH-BL coach Matt Shell. “Our kids hunkered down on defense and made stops, and that gave our offense time to get on track.”
Burnt Hills went three plays and punted on its first two possessions before putting up 27 first-half points, with two of its touchdowns coming shortly after Glens Falls turnovers. Vuillaume scored on a pair of four-yard runs, and Layton hit Flint with a three-yard touchdown pass and Page with a 13-yard touchdown toss, that coming with 35 seconds left.
“They’re so balanced. They can hurt you with screens, option and the wing-T,” said Glens Falls coach Pat Lilac. “They’re tough to defend.”
Ten different Burnt Hills runners combined for 258 yards on 40 attempts, with Beatty gaining a team-high 83 yards on seven carries, and Jahi Owens and Elias Willig adding second-half touchdown jaunts. Layton was 6-for-14 passing for 129 yards with no interceptions after an 0-for-5 start.
Glens Falls (1-2, 2-3) was missing its leading offensive threat, senior running back Dan Morrison, due to disciplinary reasons. Morrison rushed for 225 yards and five touchdowns in last week’s 56-7 win at South Glens Falls.
“They like to run a speed-
option play, and he [Morrison] is a big cog in that play,” said Shell. “They couldn’t run a play they like to run.”
The Indians, though, were able to march 64 yards on their first series. Shawn Leary gained 23 yards on five carries, and Kelly ran once for 13 yards and passed to Steve O’Sick for 28 just before his touchdown keeper. That was just the third touchdown allowed by the Burnt Hills defense, and the other two came in a Week 2 victory over Lansingburgh (60-14).
“Glens Falls did some nice things early on, and we made some adjustments,” said Shell.
“After the first quarter, everybody picked it up on defense,” said Vuillaume. “They’ve been awesome the entire year.”
Glens Falls managed 132 yards of offense after its initial thrust, and 41 of them came on a third-quarter pass from Kelly to O’Sick. Leary fumbled on the next play, with Mike Matrazzo recovering, and Layton found Beatty with a 56-yard touchdown bomb four plays later.
“Turnovers always play a part in a game,” said Shell. “When you get them, you want to try to take advantage.”
Burnt Hills — ranked No. 4 in the state — did it twice in the first half. O’Sick fumbled the ball away on a kickoff return, Jason Kritz pounced on it at the 15, and on BH-BL’s seventh play after that, Layton passed three yards to Flint for a touchdown.
Flint ended Glens Falls’ next drive with an interception, and on the fourth play after his 21-yard return to the 24, Vuillaume notched his second touchdown.
“We usually do capitalize on turnovers,” Layton said. “We’ve been pretty good at it.”
A short Glens Falls punt gave BH-BL the ball at the Indians’ 31 late in the second quarter, and the Spartans covered the distance on Layton passes of 18 yards to Nick Henderson and 13 yards to Page for a touchdown.
“You can’t give a team like that a short field to work with,” said
Lilac. “Three times in a row we gave them the short field.”
Burnt Hills has scored at least 40 points in each of its victories. Leary led Glens Falls with 62 yards on 16 carries, and Kelly had 45 on 12 attempts.
Glens Falls 7 0 0 0 — 7
Burnt Hills 6 21 14 7 — 48
GF — Kelly 1 run (Burgess kick).
BH — Vuillaume 4 run (pass failed).
BH — Flint 3 pass from Layton (Layton kick).
BH — Vuillaume 4 run (Layton kick).
BH — Page 13 pass from Layton (Layton kick).
BH — Owens 10 run (Layton kick).
BH — Beatty 56 pass from Layton (Layton kick).
BH — Willig 1 run (Layton kick).