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BETHLEHEM: Scotties fend off Eagles in BC's home opener

"We had a couple costly turnovers in that second half, but they (Marciano and Duncan) took the team on their shoulders along with some other senior leaders. They really stepped their game up when we needed it and said 'It's not going to happen tonight,'" Bowen said.

The Scotties started the third quarter with a blocked punt, taking over at Bethlehem's 28. Several plays later, Marciano took a pitch from Seager and barreled into the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown run. Kaplan's extra point gave Ballston Spa a 14-9 advantage.

The Eagles answered with a score of their own just 1:02 later when Sean Murphy broke free and ran up the left sideline for a 64-yard touchdown. The two point conversion attempt failed, which left Bethlehem with a 15-14 lead.

Ballston Spa took the lead for good with 11 seconds left in the third quarter. The Scotties went for it on fourth-down-and-eight at the Bethlehem 30 and turned to Duncan, who took a pitch up the right sideline for his second touchdown. Kaplan's extra point made it 21-15.

Marciano added his second touchdown with 6:20 left in the fourth quarter after he found a hole up the middle and ran 72 yards virtually untouched for the score.

Bethlehem's offense fared better than it did against Queensbury in its season opener. The Eagles had 190 rushing yards rushing on 30 carries, while quarterback Randy Bowers completed 6 of 17 passes for 72 yards.

"We want to strive at getting better from week 1 offensively, and I think we did that tonight. It really hasn't clicked for us yet. We have a new quarterback, and we're still trying to find some receivers. It's only two games, and from where our running game was last week, you have to be way happy," Smith said.

Ballston Spa plays 2-0 Shenendehowa next week, while Bethlehem travels to 2-0 Guilderland.

"Starting off 2-0 puts us in a good position. We're not putting ourselves in the playoffs right now by any stretch. We have a long way to go, and it doesn't get any easier heading into next week (against Shen)," Bowen said.""

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