The Bethlehem football team couldn't stop Queensbury's punishing ground game.
Ryan Woodard rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns, and Dominic Marino and Jared Myhrberg added scoring runs to lead the Spartans past the Eagles 27-13 in Saturday's season opener in Queensbury.
We knew it was going to be tough coming in here, said Bethlehem coach Ron Smith. "They're a team that if you can't physically match up with them, then you're in trouble."
The Eagles (0-1) knew they were in for a long day against Queensbury before the opening snap. Senior offensive/defensive lineman Cameron Felitte was sidelined with a partially torn Achilles tendon in his right foot he suffered in a preseason scrimmage, leaving Bethlehem without its biggest front line player.
Not that the 6-foot, 2-inch, 245-pound Felitte could have completely countered Queensbury's line by himself. With five linemen weighing 260 or more pounds and a 6-2, 230-pound fullback in Marino, the Spartans were a handful for Bethlehem to deal with.
"You have to be sound, and you have to be physical to play a team like Queensbury, and that's not our style," said Smith. "We can't counterpunch. We have to use our speed and our finesse."
Bethlehem's offense didn't do any favors for its defense. The Eagles fumbled on their first series, which allowed Queensbury to turn around and march more than 60 yards for its first touchdown " a 20-yard run by Woodard. Andy Kaier added a two-point conversion pass to Zach St. Andrews to give the Spartans an 8-0 lead.
Bethlehem's defense did a favor for the offense in the second quarter, though. The Eagles forced Kaier to fumble the ball at his own 32-yard line. Peter Berquist scooped up the loose ball and scampered the rest of the way for a touchdown to pull Bethlehem within two points.