Saturday, November 6, 2010

'Burgh bows out in Class B Super Bowl

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's terrible trio of running backs - clockwise, from top left, Brandon Beatty (22), Keaton Flint (2) and Evan Nusbaum (4) torched the Lansingburgh defense for at least 131 rushing yards apiece in Saturday's Section II Class A Super Bowl at Steuerwald Stadium. (Photos by Mike McMahon - The Record).

CLIFTON PARK -- Late in the second quarter of Saturday’s Section II Class A Super Bowl, Lansingburgh High’s defensive coordinator Andy Faragon was already out of ideas on how to stop Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s option-based rushing attack.

"Put 10 guys in the box! I don’t know," Faragon shouted in a coaches’ conference on the sidelines.

Burnt Hills’ triple-threat option offense of Evan Nusbaum, Brandon Beatty and Keaton Flint ripped the Lansingburgh defense apart as all three of those rushers finished with at least 131 yards apiece in a 42-21 victory at Steuerwald Stadium on the campus of Shenendehowa High School.

The win marked Burnt Hills’ third consecutive Section II championship and the program’s 30th consecutive victory over a Section II opponent.

Lansingburgh head coach Al McNall shows his displeasure with a call during Saturday's Section II Class A Super Bowl.

Lansingburgh was the last Section II team to top Burnt Hills, having done so in the 2007 Section II Class A Super Bowl.

Out of the Spartans’ pistol formation, where Flint, Burnt Hills’ senior quarterback, lines up three yards behind the center – shorter than a shotgun snap, hence the name – Burnt Hills had its options out of the backfield.

Beatty (16 atts., 139 yds., 4 TD), Flint (14 atts., 137 yds., 2 TD) and Nusbaum (12 atts., 131 yds., 1 TD) scored one touchdown apiece in the first quarter as Burnt Hills (10-0), the Northwest Division’s No. 1 seed, built an early lead.

Matt Shell, head coach of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake football team, has won three straight Section II Class A Super Bowl titles. (Photo courtsey The Saratogian).

"Coming into this game, the one thing we wanted to do more than anything was make a statement," Beatty said. "We thought a lot of people thought we were on Lansingburgh’s level, but as a team, we didn’t feel like that. We felt like we could do more than just have a close game."

Burnt Hills’ backs were slippery, breaking tackles and sliding through the Lansingburgh defense no matter who got the ball.

"They’re fast," said Lansingburgh head coach Al McNall. "Like I said all year, they’re very well coached. We knew coming in it was going to be an uphill battle and we had to play mistake-free football."

The Spartans scored on five of their first six drives, and the defense held Lansingburgh’s offense to just one first down before halftime.

Lansingburgh senior Anthony Fogarty runs out of running room as four Burnt Hills defenders look to close in on the tackle during Saturday's Section II Class A Super Bowl.

Senior running back Anthony Fogarty led the way for the Lansingburgh offense, as he gained 119 receiving yards on five receptions and 71 rushing yards on nine attempts.

Fogarty scored on a 58-yard run just before halftime and caught an 86-yard touchdown pass from Carlos Grillo in the fourth quarter. Marcus Little added a touchdown reception later in the fourth.

Although his team could have thrown in the towel against the state’s No. 3-ranked Class A team, McNall was proud that his players fought right to the end.

"That’s the type of kids they are," he said. "They’re fighters. This is a bittersweet thing for our seniors and I feel bad for them. Hopefully it’s something we can build off of going into next year with our underclassmen."

Burnt Hills advances to a regional round game next week against Potsdam (9-1), the Section X/VII Class A playoff champion, at Massena High.

The Spartans have reached the New York State championship game each of the past two years, losing both times to Rochester-area champion Sweet Home. The Burnt Hills players were hoping that Saturday’s verdict puts them on a track for the Carrier Dome yet again.

“We thought we could make a statement and that’s how it came out,” said Beatty.

Lansingburgh (8-2) lost twice to Burnt Hills in 2010, including a 25-15 opening week victory at home. In between, the Knights won eight straight games and clinched the Southeast Division championship, which all adds up to a successful season in McNall’s eyes.

"A lot of good things came out of this year," he said. "When we got pushed up to the As, nobody expected us to be here. Nobody expected us to be in this game. It’s an honor to play a team like that when nobody thought you’d be there to do it.

"Our kids battled through the whole game. They never let down, even when things were real dismal."

Lansingburgh players, including Jake Luce, 44, lift their helmets at the end of the national anthem prior to Saturday's Section II Class A Super Bowl at Shenendehowa High School.

Lansingburgh (8-2) 0 7 0 14 - 21
Burnt Hills (10-0) 21 14 7 0 - 42
First Quarter
BH - Evan Nusbaum 39 run (Nusbaum kick) 9:26
BH - Brandon Beatty 44 run (Nusbaum kick) 6:20
BH - Keaton Flint 43 run (Nusbaum kick) 2:22
Second Quarter
BH - Beatty 8 run (Nusbaum kick) 6:57
BH - Beatty 8 run (Nusbaum kick) 2:30
L - Anthony Fogarty 58 run (Jake Shaw kick) 0:51
Third Quarter
BH - Beatty 30 run (Nusbaum kick) 2:40
Fourth Quarter
L - Fogarty 86 pass from Carlos Grillo (Fogarty run) 4:51
L - Marcus Little 16 pass from Grillo (Grillo pass failed) 3:00
Individual Stats:
Rushing: Lansingburgh (24-132): Fogarty 9-71, Little 8-32, Luce 7-29. Burnt Hills (54-435): Beatty 16-139, Flint 14-137, Nusbaum 12-131, Fialkowski 6-19, Guba 3-6, Porter 1-3, Ruppel 2-0.
Passing: Lansingburgh: Grillo 10-15-2-160. Burnt Hills: Flint 2-6-0-38.
Receiving: Lansingburgh (10-160): Fogarty 5-119, Luce 3-19, Little 1-16, Carty 1-6. Burnt Hills: (2-38): Parks 1-28, Beatty 1-10.

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