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Football: Shen, BH-BL advance to state semifinals

Plainsmen need OT to beat North Rockland; Spartans roll past Franklin Academy

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake running back Thomas Ruppel finds an opening during the Class A regional game against Franklin Academy Nov. 12 at Shenendehowa High School.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake running back Thomas Ruppel finds an opening during the Class A regional game against Franklin Academy Nov. 12 at Shenendehowa High School. Photo by John McIntyre.

BH-BL had no trouble with Franklin Academy in its regional victory last Saturday. After spotting the Huskies a touchdown, the Spartans scored on their next four possessions to take control.

"We've been playing at a high level for the last six or seven games," said Shell. "There are still a few things we have to work on, but they're little things."

Tailback Thomas Ruppel led the charge for BH-BL. Ruppel scored on runs of 59, 70 and 66 yards in the first half and finished with 221 yards. Daniel Porter contributed 169 rushing yards and three touchdowns including a 53-yard scoring scamper that got the Spartans going in the first quarter.

"We had quite a few big plays," said Shell.

Shell said his team will need to keep making big plays if it wants to get past Cornwall Friday and advance to its third state championship game appearance in the last four years.

"If we don't play a good game, it's a situation where we could be in big trouble," said Shell.

Shen is aiming for its first Class AA championship game appearance since 2003.

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