Clifton Park—Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake got another chance to play rival Queensbury in the Section II Class A final Saturday. They were the aggressors and it paid off with a 21-16 victory.
Burnt Hills won the coin toss and opted to defer to the second half, giving Queensbury the ball to start the game. Liam O’Mara, who scored every Queensbury point in a week seven meeting between the two teams, picked up where he left off. O’Mara moved through the line and scored on a 66-yard touchdown.
After Queensbury turned the ball over on downs, it was Burnt Hills’ turn to get on the board. Senior running back Vincent Daviero barreled down the sideline and hit pay dirt after a 77-yard journey. After Queensbury added a field goal to their score, Jakai Townsend ran Burnt Hills back down the field on three plays to make it a four point game at the half, 14-10.
The second half was crucial for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. In their previous game against Queensbury, they were only down one at the start of the fourth quarter. The Spartans could not stop O’Mara as he ran for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, giving his team the 42-21 regular season victory.
“The big thing is that you have to play four quarters against Queensbury because they aren’t going to give you anything easy,” Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake coach Matt Shell said.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake came out with the ball, and after a few short gains, Daviero broke away on a 44-yard touchdown run.
There was a scoring drought for both teams until they were three minutes into the fourth quarter when Liam O’Mara punched it in from the goal line, bringing Queensbury within one score. Queensbury got the ball back with six minutes left in the game. After an easy initial first down, the Spartans failed to convert after that, turning the ball over on downs.
With the win, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake advances to the state semifinals in Middletown on Friday, Nov. 16.
“We have to stay mentally focused. We can’t take this win like it’s our last game,” senior running back Jakai Townsend said postgame. “We have to play every game like it’s week one.”