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Queensbury pulls ahead in the second half to beat Averill Park 52-18

LJ LaFiura

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SCHUYLERVILLE — The Queensbury Spartans traveled down to Schuylerville to play their semifinal game against the Averill Park Warriors. After a close first half, the Spartans pushed on through to pick up the win 52-18.

Queensbury started the first half with the ball, and as they usually do, entrusted it to their senior running back Liam O’Mara. O’Mara got the Spartans four first downs on the opening drive, placing them in the red zone for Joe Slattery. Slattery broke through the line to put Queensbury on the board with seven points.

Things moved quickly after the first drive. The read option offense, lead by Averill Park’s quarterback Anthony Childrose, was too much for the Queensbury defense to process in a timely manner. This gave Averill Park opportunities to get chunk plays on the ground, setting themselves up for some play action. Childrose found a fellow Warrior on a post route for six points and a one point deficit. On the ensuing kickoff, Jason Rodriguez found a hole and took the kick back to the house. Then once Averill Park got the ball back, Matt Morin took off for a forty yard gain and Carl Nitz took the ball down the middle for a touchdown.

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At the beginning of the second quarter, Queensbury had a fourth and three so they decided to hand the ball off to Liam O’Mara. Rather than just picking up the three remaining yards, O’Mara gained fifty-eight yards and another touchdown for the Spartans.

The Queensbury defense still couldn’t slow down the Averill Park offense. They put up big play after big play and capped it off with a twelve yard quarter back run for a touchdown. Queensbury came back out and settled for a field goal, putting the Spartans up by six at halftime.

After allowing a sixty yard run straight out of halftime to Averill Park, Queensbury’s defense finally settled in and stopped them on downs at the Queensbury seven yard line. Joe Slattery came right out of the gates and ran off a seventy yard run to put the Spartans in the red zone. Nate Angell finished the drive off, taking a designed run to the house.

The Queensbury defense dominated the rest of the final quarter, stopping Averill Park’s offense on downs every single drive. Liam O’Mara added one more rushing touchdown and Joe Slattery ran in two, making the final score 52-18. With the evenings results Liam O’Mara has broken Queensbury’s single season records in both rushing touchdowns (26) and points score (106).

Liam O’Mara said, “It’ll definitely be something to look back on and feel good about, but right now I’m more focused on celebrating this win with my teammates and getting ready for next week.”

Next week Queensbury will be set to play Burnt Hills Ballston Lake next week in the Section II Class A final. The two teams played their last game of the regular season against each other when Queensbury won the top seed with a twenty-one point win.

“The last game was extremely close, twenty-two to twenty-one going into the fourth quarter. Both teams saw some mistakes while watching film so now it’s about cleaning those up,” said Queensbury’s Coach Matt Crossman.

LJ LaFiura is a general assignment sports reporter at the upstate Courier. A Fort Edward native, he attends Saratoga Central Catholic High School.

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