Second-half surge lifts Spartans past Huskies

GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville Huskies gave Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, the top-ranked and defending Class A state champion, all they could handle in the first half of Friday’s Class A Nothwest game.

The Huskies scored on a pair of big plays and held on a goal-line stand to finish the half deadlocked with the Spartans, 14-14.

The Spartans made a few adjustments early in the second half and used a hurry-up offense to wear down Gloversville and pull away for a 46-14 victory.

“I was really proud of the guys,” Gloversville coach Jared Bongo said. “We battled and our guys came to play. We talked all week long about earning respect. No one talks about Gloversville and we need make sure people start talking about Gloversville. They made it a point of pride. Burnt Hills just wore us down and our guys started cramping up in the second half. They had 11 guys coming on and 11 guys going off and we battled with what we have.”

Burnt Hills (3-0 overall, 1-0 Class A Northwest) received the opening kickoff and were driving toward the end zone before the Huskies defense caused a fumble that Austin Alikhan recovered on the Gloversville 21-yard line.

Asa Barnhill connected with Quantel McGee on a swing pass to move the ball out to the 39. Barnhill executed a perfect fake to Dante Galster that froze the Spartans defenders and broke through the line untouched for a 61-yard touchdown run and a quick 6-0 lead.

Burnt Hills answered the score with a seven-play 92-yard drive on the ground that was capped off by a five-yard run into the end zone from Joshua Quesada. Dan Maynard added the extra point for a 7-6 lead.

The Huskies answered the score with an impressive nine play, 86 yard drive that was capped off by McGee making a diving one-handed touchdown catch on a 41-yard pass from Barnhill. Barnhill ran the ball in on the two-point conversion to give Gloversville a 14-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

In the opening quarter, Gloversville (2-1 overall, 0-1 Class A Northwest) produced 146 yards of offense, compared to 122 by the Spartans.

Burnt Hills knotted the score at 14 on their opening drive of the second quarter with David Newell finishing the five-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown run and Maynard kicked the extra point to tie the game at 14 apiece.

The Burnt Hills defense stepped up to pressure Barnhill on the ensuing possession, dropping him for a 15-yard loss. Barnhill responded with a 14-yard pass completion to David Vandenabeele that was extended by a personal foul to give Gloversville a first down. The Spartans got to Barnhill two more times in the drive forcing the first punt of the game with 5:53 left in the half.

Maynard moved the Spartans into the red zone and faced fourth and goal on the one-yard line. Maynard called his own number but was met in the backfield by Hunter Goodwin, who slowed Maynard, allowing Lance Sledge and Galster to finish off the play to give Gloversville possession on its t2-yard line with just over a minute left in the half.

The Huskies ran a couple of plays to move the ball to the 11 before time ran out on the half.

“You have to be smart and fundamentally sound against an athletic team like they have,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said. “They obviously put us in some situations and got us scrambling a bit that’s for sure. We were able to convert on a couple of big fourth downs. We also got stopped on one in the first half . It would have been nice to get that one in, but they stepped up and made a big play and we didn’t. That is how the game works.”

The second half got off to a rough start for the Huskies as a pair of penalties pushed them back from their own 28 to their 10 before being forced to punt the ball.

With the help of Newell’s 28-yard run, the Spartans drove from their 42-yard line to the Gloversville one in four plays. However, a penalty moved the ball back to the 6 before Maynard connected with Quesada for a touchdown pass.

The Spartans recovered the ball on an squib kick on the ensuing kick off and Quesada finished the possession with a 28-yard touchdown run for a 27-14 advantage.

Burnt Hills almost maintained possession on the kick off when a Spartan player came down with the ball on a short kick but it was determined the ball did not travel 10 yards before he recovered it, giving Gloversville possession on the Burnt Hills 49.

“The second one was supposed to be pooched out there to the side because we just didn’t want to kick it to No. 5. [McGee] but it was mis-hit,” Shell said. “The first one was supposed to be a squib kick. It bounced and grazed a Gloversville player and we got it.”

Gloversville moved the ball with Barnhill hitting McGee for a 15-yard gain and then pitching it to him for another 12-yard gain.

Three plays later, the Spartans Garrett Snyder intercepted a deflected pass on the five-yard line and ran it back to the 34 to end the threat.

The Spartans continued to roll in the fourth quarter adding three more touchdowns on runs of 22 yards by Maynard, two yards by Joseph Butler and a 69 fumble return by David Nusbaum after he stripped the ball from the hands of a Gloversville runner to put the final score at 46-14.

Maynard finished with 126 yards rushing to go with 7 for 11 passing effort for 31 yards for the Spartans. Quesada carried the ball 12 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 19 yards and a touchdown.

“Up front I thought we did a good job getting space for our backs to run,” Shell said. “We made a few adjustments at halftime and reminded them we need to be out there competing for four quarters.”

Barnhill completed 7 of 13 passing attempts for 100 yards and a touchdown, while carrying the ball 13 times for 93 yards. He was intercepted one and sacked four times.

McGee rushed the ball three times for 20 yards and caught two passes for 49 yards. Vandenabeele caught five passes for 51 yards.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 46, Gloversville 14

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake7 7 13 19 – 46

Gloversville14 0 0 0 – 14

First Quarter

G – Asa Barnhill 61 run (kick failed), 7:10.

BH – Josh Quesada 5 run (Dan Maynard kick), 4:12.

G – Quantel McGee 41 pass from Barnhill (Barnhill run), :03.2.

Second Quarter

BH – David Newell 14 run (Maynard kick), 9:19.

Third Quarter

BH – Quesada 6 pass from Maynard (Maynard kick), 7:51.

BH – Quesada 28 run (kick failed), 6:52.

Fourth Quarter

BH – Maynard 22 run (kick failed), 10:52.

BH – David Nusbaum 69 fumble return (Maynard kick), 6:01.

BH – Joseph Butler 2 run (kick blocked), :47.