Sweet Home denies Burnt Hills again

The news got worse for the Spartans when they found out at halftime that quarterback Phil Neumann had broken his collarbone on a running play. But they still found a way to get back in the game. After stopping Sweet Home on fourth down at their 37-yard line, Beatty took a handoff on the next play and was never touched on a 63-yard gallop to the other end zone.

Evan Nusbaum intercepted McMahon on the Panthers' ensuing possession, and one more scoring drive might have made things quite interesting for BH-BL. Instead, the Panthers stepped up their own defense and forced two turnovers in the third quarter " both of them interceptions by Nettles, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Nettles also made a crucial fourth-down catch to set up Neasman's second 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Neasman scored again with 3:57 to play as Sweet Home clinched a second consecutive state title.

Yet both sides, because of what they had gone through off the field, seemed to understand the proper place of football - even one as important as a state championship game. Before the game, Sweet Home players had gathered to send a get-well card to Jacob Shell, and several BH-BL players presented Morris with a maroon "Shellstrong" T-shirt, which he held during the post-game handshake.""

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