CLIFTON PARK - Things went wrong from the opening kickoff for Amsterdam.
First the muffed kick led to a touchdown, then after tying the game, the Rugged Rams were exploited on an 88-yard reverse kickoff return that went for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Spartans' second touchdown as they scored 27 points in the first quarter and ran over the Rams, 48-6, on Saturday night at Shenendehowa High School.
"It [stinks] that we went out like this in our last game," senior quarterback Geo Rodriguez said. "I said it before going out there, if we lost, I was never going to play football again and I'm going to stick to my original plan. To go out like this, especially as a senior, there's a lot of kids that deserved to win. We really got demoralized today."
Amsterdam’s Brett Stanavich is brought down by Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s Jack Maher during the Section II Class A championship game at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park on Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
The start of the game couldn't have been demoralizing for the Rugged Rams when the opening kickoff was muffed by Amsterdam's Dal Orengo and Burnt Hills recovered on the Amsterdam 10-yard line.
Two plays later, Dan Porter gave the Spartans a 6-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run.
Amsterdam (6-4) answered right back as Rodriguez led the Rams on an eight-play drive that culminated in his own 8-yard touchdown run.
Class A Championship
Burnt Hills 48, Amsterdam 6
Class B Championship
Glens Falls 21, Schalmont 14
Class D Championship
Rensselaer 42, Salem 22
The score was set up by Rodriguez's 23-yard pass to Hector Diaz and a 24-yard run by Bret Stanavich, which brought the ball to the 1.
"We were down 19 points on them before," Stanavich said. "We knew we could come back. I know we just needed to come back, and we did, but on the following drive, our momentum just stopped. And that was it."
The momentum stopper was a reverse kickoff as the Spartans (9-1) put the ball into the hands of Shomari Ingram, who took the ball around the left side for an 88-yard return. Ryan McDonnell's kick gave Burnt Hills a 13-6 lead.
"We worked on it all week," Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said. "That's something that we were hoping we can execute. You never know. When you call it, you hold your breath, but the kids executed it well."
From there, the Spartans kept piling on as Dan Maynard scored and McDonnell each scored a touchdown, giving them a 27-6 lead after the first 12 minutes.
"We did not play well," Amsterdam coach Doug Edick said. "We didn't come out of the gate playing well. They never quit. In the second half, we battled. We finished up the game, but it wasn't Amsterdam football, at all."
Josh Quesada scored on a 32-yard run and Maynard added a 50-yard scoring run of his own in the second quarter, giving the Spartans a 41-6 halftime lead.
"We had no momentum," Edick said. "They had all the momentum and they kept the momentum because they never stopped. I thought maybe that touchdown was going to stop the momentum, but they responded in championship fashion. That's a championship team, bottom line."
Maynard finished the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
The Spartans will move on to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association quarterfinals next week when they travel north to face Section X champion, Potsdam, at Massena High School
Potsdam defeated Massena, 40-0, on Friday night.
The Rugged Rams, however, finished the season with the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths.
"I made some real good friends this season," Stanavich said. "It's tough to go out and lose like this. You never want to see that."
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 48, Amsterdam 6
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake27 14 7 0 - 48
Amsterdam6 0 0 0 - 6
BH - Porter 3 run (kick failed), 11:15
A - Rodriguez 1 run (kick blocked, 7:17
BH - Ingram 88 kick return (McDonnell kick), 7:01
BH - Maynard 47 run (McDonnell kick), 4:29
BH - McDonnell 40 run (McDonnell kick), 2:21
BH -Quesada 32 run (McDonnell kick) 6:19
BH - Maynard 50 run (McDonnell kick), 3:54
BH - Maynard 1 run (McDonnell kick), 4:10