Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake tailback Thomas Ruppel (24) looks for running room during last Friday’s Class A state final against Maine-Endwell at Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome.
Photo by Herm Card.
Midway through the second quarter, BH-BL used another big play to move in front. From his own 20, Daniel Porter took a counter handoff, found a huge hole on the right side and didn’t stop until he was in the end zone 80 yards later and BH-BL, despite a missed extra point, had a 13-7 lead.
With barely a minute left in the half, sophomore Josh Quesada hit yet another big play for BH-BL, taking off on a sweep 62 yards to M-E’s three-yard line. on the very next play, McDonnell hit Ruppel in the end zone, and the extra point made it 20-7, where it stood at the break.
“At halftime, we felt good,” said McDonnell. “Kudos to Maine-Endwell, though, for they played a great game.”
Uceta, on the first snap of the second half, sped 47 yards deep into BH-BL territory. A series of runs followed, and Nick Sorrenti, from four yards out, scored to cut the lead to 20-14.
Right away, BH/BL appeared ready to counter, Porter’s 30-yard run setting up yet another scoring chance. But Darnell Woolfolk’s big sack of McDonnell on third down forced a punt.
Gradually, M-E shifted field position and, as the fourth quarter began, were threatening to catch up. Justin Jacoby’s 15-yard run set up first-and-goal, and Sorrenti scored on a three-yard run with 10:26 left. When Steve Pham’s PAT split the uprights, BH/BL trailed 21-20.
The ensuing drive would prove important. McDonnell would throw a pair of big third-down completions - one to Matt Peltier, the other an 18-yard throw to Dillon on third-and-18. Then Will Chapman made a diving 18-yard grab of another McDonell pass.
Despite all that, though, M-E would stop it, sacking McDonnell on fourth down at the 38 with 4:29 to play. BH-BL had used six minutes of clock without reclaiming the lead.