Football: Burnt Hills gets another Dome date

Spartans run over Cornwall in Class A semifinal

Thomas Ruppel and Daniel Porter ran around, over and through the Cornwall defense.

When they were done, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake tailback duo rushed for more than 350 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Spartans past the Green Dragons 35-14 in Friday's Class A state semifinal game at Kingston's Dietz Stadium.

The victory sends BH-BL into next Friday's Class A final against Section IV champion Maine-Endwell at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Maine-Endwell surprised Aquinas, the No. 1-ranked Class A team in New York, 19-16 in Friday's other state semifinal game.

Ruppel was BH-BL's main weapon, as the senior gained 218 yards and scored three times. Porter added more than 140 yards and a touchdown.

"It was just great," said Ruppel, who has rushed for more than 800 yards in five playoff games. "The offensive line made great blocks down the field."

"Winning the battle at the line of scrimmage was huge, and getting both backs working both ends of the field -- inside and out -- really helped," said BH-BL coach Matt Shell.

The Spartans (11-1) ran early and often against Cornwall (10-2), but they were stopped on their first two offensive series. Still, those drives set the tone for what was to come.

A mistake by Cornwall with 18 seconds left in the first quarter got things going for BH-BL. Green Dragons quarterback Mike White threw a lateral that fell to the turf, and Eric Dillon fell on it to give the Spartans the ball near midfield. The subsequent series carried over into the second quarter, and Ruppel capped it with a 12-yard touchdown run to put BH-BL ahead 7-0.

Ruppel was just getting started. Following a Cornwall punt, Ruppel took the handoff from quarterback Ryan McDonnell at his own 27 yard line, found a hole on the right side and didn't stop running until he reached the end zone. McDonnell's extra point was good, which put BH-BL ahead 14-0.

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