Football: Spartans' offense hasn't missed a beat
BURNT HILLS Not once did Lansingburgh stop Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s retooled starting offense Friday night. Lansingburgh had a difficult time handling the Spartans reserves, too.
“What can you say? They’re a powerhouse,” first-year Knights coach Jeff Pasinella said after the reigning state Class A champions soared to a 69-25 season-opening non-league win. “They lose 24 players, and they do that. They’ve got a quality team up here.”
New quarterback Danny Maynard directed six touchdown drives, and Josh Quesada returned a punt for a score in a monster first half before the backups finished off the Spartans’ 13th consecutive victory.
Maynard ran for a touchdown and hit Mike Civitello and Max Charlton with touchdown passes, and David Newell and Quesada both reached the end zone twice as part of a 48-point barrage over the opening two quarters.
“It’s game one, and going in, you never know how they’re going to react,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said after his 99th win with the program. “There’s always that nervousness. as far as how are we going to execute.”
Burnt Hills had three touchdowns on the board before Lansingburgh first-team all-state back Anthony Walker raced 79 yards for the first of his two touchdowns. The contest was all but over when he scored again on a 52-yard scamper early in the third quarter.
“We shoot for five, six yards, and then we break one loose and score,” said Maynard, who last year as a sophomore backed up signalcaller Ryan McDonnell while seeing time at running back. “The offensive line did a great job. The holes were wide open the whole night.”
“That’s why we were successful,” Shell said of the Spartans’ offensive line. “The guys up front allowed us to run and throw.”
Tackles Jeff Tope and Roswell Warren, guards Nico Fragale and Joe Messare, center Sam Bartlett and Civitello at tight end were superb in their half of work.
“We’d call a play in the huddle, and if I saw something, I’d audible at the line,” said Maynard. “The offensive line is a smart group. They know their roles, and we went from there.”
Newell capped a game-starting seven-play, 71-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run. Quesada raced 37 yards to complete BH-BL’s second series that covered 55 yards and took six plays. Civitello scored on a 19-yard pass play soon after, on the first snap after a 38-yard punt return by Quesada.
“We were able to get momentum. When you do that, you can mix some things in. You can do different things,” said Shell. “When you go three-and-out, you lose consistency.”
Burnt Hills went three-and-out only once and then punted for the first time with just under three minutes left in the game.
“There’s things to improve on. There’s always room to improve, but I’ll take this,” said Shell. “This was a good win. The kids played well on both sides and on special teams.”
Quesada took a punt back 77 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, and returned a third-quarter kickoff 84 yards to the end zone. The senior also led 11 different BH-BL runners with 67 yards on four carries.
“It’s nice to make plays in the kicking game,” said Shell. “We spend a lot of time on it. It’s nice to see a reward.”
Maynard was 5-for-6 passing for 88 yards, and Ethan Perregaux and Joey Butler added second-half touchdowns for the five-time defending Section II champs, who amassed 308 yards on the ground.
Matt Sterlina recovered two fumbles, forcing one when he hit Walker, and Paul Krowel and Bartlett forced the other when they sacked Lansingburgh quarterback Shay Curtis. Antonio Rodriguez also had a sack and Josh Harrison blocked a punt.
“We executed on both sides tonight,” said Shell. “Hopefully, it will continue.”
Walker rushed for 200 yards on 19 carries, and Kelvon Wood scored a late touchdown for the 2012 Class B Reinfurt Division champs on an 88-yard run.
Lansingburgh 7 0 7 11 — 25
BH-BL 28 20 14 7 — 69
BHBL — Newell 12 run (Maynard kick).
BHBL — Quesada 37 run (Maynard kick).
BHBL — Civitello 19 pass from Maynard (Maynard kick)
L — Walker 79 run (Cipperly kick).
BHBL — Newell 4 run (Maynard kick).
BHBL — Charlton 8 pass from Maynard (kick failed).
BHBL — Quesada 77 punt return (Maynard kick).
BHBL — Maynard 20 run (Maynard kick).
L — Walker 52 run (Cipperly kick).
BHBL — Quesada 84 kickoff return (Maynard kick).,
BHBL — Perregaux 1 run (Perregaux kick).
L — Cipperly 31 field goal.
BHBL — Butler 14 run (Perregaux kick).
L — Wood 88 run (Rosario pass from VanNess).