In one quarter, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake football team turned a close game with Lansingburgh into a rout and established itself as the Class A team to beat.
The Spartans (2-0) scored five touchdowns in the second quarter on their way to a 60-14 victory over the Knights on a rainy night last Friday in Burnt Hills.
We thought if we played hard and came out and played well, we'd have a good chance of winning, said BH-BL coach Matt Shell. "We got that first touchdown, and it just snowballed from there."
Quarterback Paul Layton beat Lansingburgh with his arm and his feet. Layton threw for nearly 140 yards and two touchdowns, and he rushed for nearly 120 yards and a pair of scores before resting most of the second half.
But as much as Layton was responsible for building BH-BL's lead, it was the Spartans defense that made certain Lansingburgh (1-1) didn't cut into the lead. BH-BL didn't allow a first down until late in the fourth quarter and kept leading rusher Marcus Hepp in check, allowing the senior tailback only 21 yards on seven carries.
"Any time you can keep an offense like that under control, it's huge," said Shell.
The defense also provided the back-breaking moment of the game. Tyler Paluba intercepted T.J. McLaughlin and ran 30 yards the other direction for a touchdown midway through the second quarter that put the Spartans ahead 28-0.
Wide receiver Keaton Flint caught touchdown passes of 19 and 60 yards, and senior tailback Erik Vuillaume rushed for 90 yards to contribute to BH-BL's dominating performance. The Spartans offense outgained Lansingburgh 460-185, with most of the Knights' yards coming in the second half.
"The backs ran hard, and the (offensive linemen) came off the ball and blocked well," said Shell. "We just made plays."
BH-BL enters the divisional portion of its schedule when it travels to Gloversville Friday for a Class A Division 2 contest. The game marks a homecoming for Shell, who grew up in the Fulton County city.
"(Gloversville coach) Tom Ciaccio and I are good friends," said Shell. "I love (going home), but it's just the way it is. You have to prepare the kids the same every week.""