BALLSTON SPA: Scotties nip Dutchmen

The next minute determined the outcome of the game, though. Eric Marciano brought the Ballston Spa fans to their feet with an 82-yard kickoff return for the Scotties' first touchdown. Jordan Kaplan's kick tied the game at 7.

"We really needed it," said Marciano. "It got the team fired up, and it got the fans fired up."

"Eric's speed is well known around here, but you have to look at what the other 10 guys on the field did to set up the return," said Bowen.

Guilderland started its next series from its own 20-yard line " or tried to, anyway. A stunt by Ballston Spa's defensive line caused Guilderland's center to snap the ball too soon, which led to a fumble. The Scotties fell on the loose ball while the Dutchmen looked for an encroachment penalty to no avail.

Ballston Spa quickly took advantage. Quarterback Mark Seager kept the ball and ran 20 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Kaplan's extra point made the score 14-7, 26 seconds after Guilderland took its 7-0 lead.

Smith tried to get the Dutchmen back on track with a big run on his next play from scrimmage, but he fumbled the ball into Ballston Spa's hands at his own 40-yard line. Again, the Scotties struck quickly as Steve Duncan broke free down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown that put Ballston Spa ahead 21-7. Only 18 seconds separated Seager's and Duncan's touchdowns.

"We made too many mistakes (in that stretch)," said Guilderland coach Dan Penna. "When you make mistakes against a good team like that, it hurts you."

The scoring pace slowed down after that. Shane LaChance made a 32-yard field goal with 3:34 left in the second quarter to give Ballston Spa a 24-7 halftime lead, and there was no scoring until 3:45 left in the third quarter when Smith capped a Guilderland drive with a 15-yard touchdown run.

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