Blogs > Extra Points

Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

SH 34, BH 7, final

Unfortunately for the Spartans, Sweet Home roared back to life in the fourth quarter. It's 34-7 with less than a minute remaining and looks like that's how the game will end.

And now it's final. Sweet Home wins its second consecutive state championship. Burnt Hills loses to this team for the second year in a row in just their second trip to the final.

A great season for both teams, as Sweet Home finished perfect at 13-0 and Burnt Hills ends 12-1, with just this loss.

The good and the bad

The good news:
This Burnt Hills team has played with new energy in the second half. Despite some interceptions that gave Sweet Home decent field position, the Spartans were able to keep the Panthers off the scoreboard during the quarter, making big stops. They also found the endzone themselves.

The bad news:
The Spartans still trail 19-7 with 12 minutes remaining in the state championship. It will have to be the backups taking the lead if Burnt Hills is to rally; Neumann has a shoulder sling on and definitely looks done for the night.

Spartans crack the scoreboard

A 60+ yard score from Brandon Beatty has Burnt Hills on the scoreboard and the place going nuts.

19-7 with 9:38 left in the half. And a big stop to start the Panthers' ensuing drive.

Backup quarterback Marc Cerrone connected with Beatty for that score. Neumann is on the sidelines with his helmet and shoulder pads off. Not sure what's up.

Second half ready to go

Teams just returned to start the second half, and the fans definitely let them hear it. There are definitely more of them than the Sweet Home fans.

Spartans fans just spent a good 30 seconds chanting "Shell-Strong, Shell-Strong" over and over. Virtually every person here has to be thinking of coach Matt Shell's son Jacob, watching the game from a medical facility in Boston while undergoing treatment for neuroblastoma. Section II fans have rallied around the Shell family; the "Shellstrong" fundraiser this season helped with medical expenses.

Teams ready to kick off the second half....

First-half stats

Some halftime stats: Phil Neumann is 7-for-12 for 53 yards for Burnt Hills. Pat McMahon is 6-for-8 for 220 yards and two touchdowns for Sweet Home. The pass plays are what's killing the Spartans....

Burnt Hills' main weapons are struggling so far. Brandon Beatty has 32 yards on 14 carries and Keaton Flint has two receptions for 40 yards.

D.J. Nettles has three receptions for 86 yards for Sweet Home.

Total yards of offense: Sweet Home 242, Burnt Hills 162.


Evan Nusbaum missed a 30-yard field goal attempt as time expired to send the teams to the locker room with Sweet Home leading 19-0.

The Spartans have been in nearly this position before. In the 2008 title game, Sweet Home took a 21-7 lead after the first quarter and 28-14 at halftime before the Panthers' second-half rally fell short, 35-28.

Sweet Home is starting the second half with the ball, and another quick score could be devastating. Burnt Hills will have to stop then and then respond quickly.

A student wearing a Spartans helmet (the Roman kind, not the football kind) is attempting to rally Burnt Hills fans in the stands. "We just drove three and a half hours," he shouted. "Every player better hear you when they come back on this field!"

Sweet Home driving again...score

A real heartbreaker for the Spartans, as Brandon Beatty just barely missed converting on a fourth-and-one. Fans were not shy about making their displeasure known.

Sweet Home takes possession at the Spartans 41 with about 1:45 remaining in the half.

A 10-yard holding penalty on the offense just moved the Panthers back some....

And as I was typing that, DI prospect D.J. Nettles just broke loose for a 50+ yard touchdown score.

It's 19-0 Sweet Home. The Spartans have 1:10 in the half to work with.

13-0 Sweet Home

With 4:54 left in the first half of the title game, defending champion Sweet Home leads 13-0. The second score just came on a 91-yard reception by Jahaan Williams when it looked like Burnt Hills might have stymied the Panthers deep in their own end.

Burnt Hills starts its ensuing drive on the 11.

First quarter scoreless

End of the first quarter and it's 0-0. Each team stalled around midfield on its opening drive.

On its second possession, Burnt Hills got a promising drive down to the Sweet Home 34, but turned the ball over on downs.

But now the Panthers are threatening, with the ball on the Burnt Hills 20 after a big 43-yard pass from quarterback Pat McMahon to Nick Cuiello


Burnt Hills quarterback Phil Neumann's mother just sang the national anthem. Team captains are heading to midfield for the coin toss.

Burnt Hills won the toss and will receive.

Kickoff ensuing ...


The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School football team is awaiting kickoff at the Carier Dome in Syracuse to take on Section VI's Sweet Home. Sweet Home won last year's Class A football title by beating the Spartans, 35-28, at the same site.

Both Burnt Hills and Sweet Home arrived on the field after the trophy presentation or the previous game. Southwestern (Section VI) won the Class C final just moments ago; Section VI won a record four state titles last year, and, of course, Sweet Home represents the section in the 'A' game.

We are about 15 minutes from kickoff. Sweet Home is stretching as a team and Burnt Hills is down at the other end practicing kicks and passing. When Sweet Home entered and did a lap around the field, senior captain Deshanaro Morris was wheeled out and followed behind them in his wheelchair. Morris, who figured big in last year's title game, was paralyzed in a car accident in January; he will participate in the coin toss to start the game.

Fan turnout is really good for Burnt Hills. Tons of people in maroon directly below the press box, including a group of boys with their faces and chests painted right in the front row.

Should be a good game! Check back for updates every quarter and each time a touchdown is scored!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Live tonight: Burnt Hills vs. Franklin Academy regional football game

The Saratogian and Stan Hudy will be your eyes and ears tonight as Section II Class A champion Burnt Hills takes on Section X's Franklin Academy of Malone at Shenendehowa High School.

Just click below to get a play-by-play blogcast from the site in the comfort of your own home.

Labels: ,

Batter up with the Saratoga Ice Hockey team Nov. 21

How can you not miss this???

A pancake breakfast at Applebees in Saratoga Springs for $5 to benefit the Saratoga Springs High School ice hockey team...and it's Stan Hudy's birthday!

From 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 stop by Applebee's at 3 Lowes Drive in Saratoga Springs to take part in the event. Be seated, served and have the Blue Streak ice hockey team clean up for you afterwards.

I think it's all you can eat, The menu is 3 pancakes, choice of 2 pieces of sausage and bacon and a choice of juice or coffee, so be ready with the batter boys!!!

Labels: ,

Christopher Dailey 8th annual Turkey Trot Nov. 26

Burn off all the calories you can before you sit down at the dinner table this Thanksgiving Day by running or walking in the 8th annual Christopher Dailey Turkey Trot in Saratoga Springs, New York 8:30 a.m. Nov. 26.

The event starts at City Hall, heads up North Broadway, onto the Skidmore Campus and back down North Broadway. It is a fun, fit event with chip timing courtesy of Albany Running Exchange so results are available immediately.

This year there is no day-of registration so download your registration form and get in in before Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Any questions, e-mail Maria at or call 581-1328.

I'll be there, ready to chew on a turkey leg before the morning is out, but once I'm filed, I'm off to the dinner table too!

Labels: ,

Connor LaFrance Bantam Youth Hockey Tournament this weekend

This weekend kicks off the youth hockey season in earnest as the Connor LaFrance bantam youth hockey gets underway at the Saratoga Springs City Ice Rinks.

The three-day tournament invites 12 teams from three states and seven youth hockey organizations to honor LaFrance, a local youth hockey player and motocross star who died Sept. 21, 2007.

The Saratoga Bantam A, B and C squads will face local competitors, Clifton Park A and B squads along with Adirondack. Out of town competitors include Mohawk Valley, Saugerties, Chittenden, South Burlington, VT and Dover, New Hampshire.

On Saturday night the organization will present the Saratoga Youth Hockey Memorial Scholarship during a ceremony at center ice.

2009 Connor LaFrance Bantam Youth Hockey divisions
Division A
Clifton Park A
Mohawk Valley
Chittenden SB
Saratoga A
Division B
Dover, NH
Chittenden SB A/B
Saratoga B

Division C
Dover, NH
Clifton Park B2
Saratoga C
2009 Connor LaFrance Bantam Youth Hockey schedule
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. Vernon Clifton Park B2 vs. Saratoga C
Friday 5:45 p.m. Vernon Adirondack vs. Saratoga B
Friday 7:15 p.m. Vernon Dover, NH vs. Chittenden SB A/B
Friday 7:45 p.m. Weibel Chittenden SB A vs. Saratoga A
Friday 8:45 p.m. Vernon Clifton Park A vs. Mohawk Valley

Saturday 7:30 a.m. Weibel Saratoga B vs. Chittenden SB A/B
Saturday 8:30 a.m. Vernon Mohawk Valley vs. Chittenden SB A
Saturday 9 p.m. Weibel Dover, NH vs. Adirondack
Saturday 10 a.m. Vernon Saratoga A vs. Clifton Park A
Saturday 10:30 a.m. Weibel Clifton Park B2 vs. Saugerties
Saturday Noon Weibel Dover, NH vs. Clifton Park B2
Saturday 4 p.m. Vernon Dover, NH vs. Clifton Park B2
Saturday 5:30 p.m. Vernon Saugerties vs. Saratoga C
Saturday 6 p.m. Weibel Chittenden SB A/B vs. Adirondack
Saturday 7 p.m. Vernon Chittenden SB A vs. Clifton Park A
Saturday 7:30 p.m. Weibel Saratoga B vs. Dover, NH
Saturday 9 p.m. Weibel Saratoga A vs. Mohawk Valley
Sunday 6:45 a.m. Vernon B 3rd place vs. B 4th place
Sunday 7:30 a.m. Weibel C 1st place vs. C 3rd place
Sunday 8:15 a.m. Vernon B 2nd place vs. B 1st place
Sunday 9 a.m. Weibel A 3rd place vs. A 4th place
Sunday 10:30 a.m. Weibel A 2nd place vs. A 1st place
Sunday 2 p.m. Weibel C 4th place vs. C 3rd place
Sunday 3:30 p.m. Weibel C 2nd place vs. C 1st place

Labels: ,

Friday, November 6, 2009

Final poll results "Battle of Route 50" are in

After an early push by Ballston Spa during the first two days of voting on our newspaper's web-site, Saratoga Springs battled back and took it to the house for the victory.

Now it wasn't a runaway, but the final numbers are as follows for our poll question
The final numbers do represent a little wider margin than the results published in Friday's Saratogian because I didn't close out voting until 11 p.m., but the project was put on the page at 5 p.m.

My managing editor did bring up a good point that the population of Saratoga Springs may have been a deciding factor in the voting, just by sheer numbers.

While the poll is totally unscientific, it was fun and I didn't have to delete too many votes, only a few overzealous fans voted more than five times, so I capped the vote at five per individual ip addresses.

We'll let the players decide it on the field 7 p.m. tonight at Colonie.

Thanks for voting.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Saratoga pulls ahead of Ballston Spa in Battle of Route 50 web poll

Saratoga put on an impressive offensive push early this week to take over the lead in the voting against Ballston Spa for the "Battle of Route 50" in the Section II Class AA Super Bowl Friday evening.

The Scotties held an early lead during the weekend, but as the voters advanced to the internet poll, the Blue Streaks pulled ahead, 56.8 percent to 43.2 percent late Monday night.

The Saratogian is looking to provide some unique insight this Friday for this Saratoga County showdown along with the official results of the event.

To vote, click here.

Labels: ,