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Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake football team takes care of business

There was a moment during last Friday's Class A football regional at Shenendehowa High School where Franklin Academy of Malone led Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

That moment didn't last long.

The Spartans scored six consecutive touchdowns to close out the first half on their way to a 54-13 victory over the Huskies.

They were a good team, said senior quarterback Phillip Neumann, who threw two touchdown passes and a two-point conversion in one half of work. "They had some big kids who could hit pretty hard."

Franklin Academy gained its only lead midway through the first quarter when Jake Gravel returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. Gravel added the extra point to put the Huskies ahead 7-6.

It didn't take long for BH-BL (11-0) to respond. After a long kickoff return by Tyler Paluba got the Spartans near midfield, Neumann connected with Keaton Flint on a 45-yard touchdown pass to give BH-BL a 12-7 lead.

"We talked to them about being patient," said BH-BL coach Matt Shell. "It's the nature of the offense " you have to be patient on offense [to make big plays]."

Once the Spartans regained the lead, they began rolling up the points. Tailback Brandon Beatty scored on a 14-yard run to open the second quarter. A short time later, Neumann connected with Evan Nusbaum on a 9-yard touchdown pass, and the rout was on.

Meanwhile, BH-BL's defense stifled Franklin Academy's offense. Gravel, who is the Huskies' quarterback, couldn't get anything going through the air or on the ground in the first half, as he didn't get into positive yard territory until a drive late in the second quarter.

"He's a good athlete, and he had the ball every snap," said Shell. "Fortunately, we could locate him every time because he was under center."

Beatty added a pair of touchdowns late in the second quarter to finish the game with four scoring runs before he and the rest of BH-BL starters were pulled.

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