Niskayuna hooks (and laterals) for a win

It took a daring play for the Niskayuna football team to reach the Class A semifinals.

Wide receiver Brendan Krol scored on a hook-and-ladder play as time ran out in the fourth quarter to lift the Silver Warriors (6-2) to a 20-14 victory over Queensbury in last Friday's Sectional quarterfinal game in Niskayuna.

The play started with quarterback Kyle Bayly throwing a screen pass to Ryan Alden, who then turned and pitched the ball to Krol. The junior then sprinted down the left sideline to complete the 45-yard touchdown play that sent Niskayuna into this week's semifinal against top-seeded Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.

In that situation, it's usually a good play because the defense is usually far enough back that you can complete a short pass, said Niskayuna coach John Furey. "And then when they come up to tackle the player with the ball, he can pitch it to the other kid, and usually there's plenty of running room."

In a way, Alden's pitch to Krol was symbolic of the entire game. While Alden " Niskayuna's leading scorer " was held without a touchdown, Krol entered the end zone three times. He caught first-half scoring passes of 35 and 76 yards from Bayly to help the Silver Warriors take a 14-7 halftime lead.

"He's been a little bit under the radar for us all year, but he's done a great job," Furey said of Krol.

The other underrated part of Niskayuna's football team came up big as the defense shut down Queensbury's double wing-T offense. The only big play the Silver Warriors allowed was Payton McKinney's 24-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that tied the game for the Spartans (4-4).

"Our defense has been outstanding all year," said Furey. "I thought they defended Queensbury as well as any team has in a long time."

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