TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The last time the La Salle Cadets and Burnt Hills Spartans squared off on the gridiron, the two Class A foes played in an epic sectional semifinal, as Burnt Hills eked out a 21-20 overtime win. Now they’ll run that matchup back Friday in the NEWS10 Sports “Game of the Week.”
For La Salle, its’ Week 2 opponent poses yet another daunting challenge in what has been an early-season gauntlet. John Audino’s squad managed to escape Camillus in their season opener with a 13-7 overtime win against Section III’s West Genesee, which reached the Class A state playoffs a year ago. But that was followed by a grueling road tilt at CBA, where the Brothers handed La Salle a 42-6 defeat.
On the other side, Burnt Hills is riding high from a wild win over Class AA foe Saratoga Springs – the first victory under new head coach Kevin DeBonis.
That 2021 sectional game is certainly still on the mind of the Cadets, but more importantly, this year’s matchup can have major implications on the trajectory of their season.
“We know we have to clean some things up from CBA and West Genny, but, you know, we’ve played two pretty good programs there also,” said Audino. “(Now) we get a third. I don’t who made that schedule,” he said with a smile. “But it is what it is. You know, I look at it this way: we’re back to Class A; next week we’re back to divisional play. So, the three games are gonna prep us good. I mean, we’ve been tested. It’s a good thing to have. We just gotta stay healthy, and try to win a ballgame here.”
“It’s big, ’cause we haven’t been ourselves these past two games,” added senior tight end and defensive end Noah Sigda. “Everybody on the field knows what we’re capable of, and we want to let these other teams know what we can do this year.”
And it’s shaping up to be quite the battle of the ground games. Burnt Hills rattled off 287 rushing yards against the Blue Streaks, but La Salle’s got quite the workhorse in the backfield in senior Matt Bott.
It’s been slow going for Bott and the run game through the first two weeks, and he knows Friday’s the time to ramp it up.
“We need a good push up front from the line,” said Bott. “We just need everyone to play together well. Personally, me, I gotta find the holes, hold on to the ball and run hard. We’re pumped; we’re excited. We’re ready to come back from last week. You know, we’re facing adversity now. I think we’re gonna respond to it really well. And we’re just ready to get out there and play our hearts out.”
Kickoff between La Salle and Burnt Hills in Troy is set for 7:00 p.m. We’ll have highlights from that game, as well as a number of other Week 2 matchups as part of Friday’s 1st & 10 lineup.