Burnt Hills turns the tide

Spar­tans re­verse re­sult of reg­u­lar-sea­son game to cap­ture Class A ti­tle

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - SPORTS - By James Allen

Clifton Park Al­though he did not show up with his uni­form top Satur­day, Jack Wy­att was there when Burnt Hills’ de­fense needed him most. The se­nior line­backer sacked Queens­bury’s Bryant Ward on a fourth-down at­tempted trick play with 1:35 re­main­ing.

“I ran that play in Mad­den,” Wy­att said of the iconic NFL video game. “I saw (Ward) didn’t have a glove on, so we knew he was go­ing to throw.”

Burnt Hills ran out the re­main­der of the clock to se­cure its third con­sec­u­tive Sec­tion II Class A ti­tle with a riv­et­ing 21-16 vic­tory over Queens­bury at Shenen­de­howa’s Steuer­wald Sta­dium.

Three weeks ago, Queens­bury se­nior wing­back Liam O’mara gashed Burnt Hills with six touch­down runs and three two-point con­ver­sions in a 42-21 road win that clinched the Grasso Di­vi­sion ti­tle.

Satur­day, Queens­bury man­aged to out­gain Burnt Hills 293-191. O’mara rushed for 157 yards and two touch­downs, yet he did not have nearly the same im­pact that he had in the first meet­ing.

“We prepped so much bet­ter, worked so much bet­ter and played so much bet­ter than the first time,” Wy­att said. “It was just a to­tally dif­fer­ent game. We made stops when we had to.”

“I am be­yond proud of our de­fense,” Burnt Hills se­nior wing­back/line­backer Jakai Townsend said. “We made ad­just­ments from the first time and made them

work. This is so sat­is­fy­ing.”

“We made some ad­just­ments with our in­te­rior line and per­son­nel changes on the out­side as you saw with Jakai,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said. “You have to have speed on the field. The bot­tom line is you re­ally have to want it. The kids just played great.”

The play­ers from Burnt Hills have been wear­ing ‘DM’ stick­ers on the back of their hel­mets for Dea­con Mar­tucci, a foot­ball player who died in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent in Au­gust.

“This is un­be­liev­able. Ev­ery­thing we are do­ing, we are do­ing for Dea­con,” said Wy­att, who de­liv­ered 10 tack­les Satur­day. “We were just a to­tally dif­fer­ent team this time. We were just so much more fo­cused than we were be­fore.”

Burnt Hills (9-1) for the se­cond

straight year, will have a bye into the state semi­fi­nals Nov. 16 at Mid­dle­town High School.

The win is the 150th of his ca­reer for Shell against 33 losses. The ar­chi­tect of all nine sec­tional cham­pi­onships with Burnt Hills was thrilled for his team, es­pe­cially the se­nior class in get­ting an­other shot at win­ning a Class A state cham­pi­onship.

“I love these se­niors. They are in my son’s class, so I have known these boys since they were 4. I’ve got a lot of his­tory with them,” Shell said. “Just see­ing the re­siliency they’ve had all year long with a lot of set­backs this sea­son and to cul­mi­nate tonight, I don’t have enough good things to say.”

Shell got a kiss and con­grat­u­la­tions from his wife and hugs from son Ja­cob and daugh­ter Hannah — a star on the Spar­tans’ cham­pi­onship volleyball team.

Burnt Hills se­nior run­ning back Vin­cent Daviero got his team rolling late in the first quar­ter when he broke five tack­les and dashed 78 yards for a touch­down to help earn a tie at 7.

Late in the se­cond quar­ter trail­ing 10-7, Burnt Hills se­nior line­backer Bryce Mussen (11 tack­les) in­ter­cepted a pass. Townsend rushed the ball two times to set up a first-and-goal sit­u­a­tion and capped the se­ries with a 4-yard touch­down run with 27 sec­onds left in the half as Burnt Hills led 14-10 at half­time.

Daviero ex­tended the lead to 21-10 when he scored on a 34-yard scam­per and ju­nior de­fen­sive back Lo­gan Stub­blebine ended the third quar­ter with a stop on O’mara on a fourth-and-1 run at the 16.

O’mara drew Queens­bury (9-1) within five with 9:43 left, but the No. 1 seed could draw no closer.

Hans Pen­nink / Spe­cial to the Times Union

Burnt Hills play­ers cel­e­brate win­ning their Sec­tion II ti­tle in the Class A Su­per Bowl, played Satur­day at Shenen­de­howa High School.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.