It was good old fashioned "D" that propelled Amsterdam past Burnt Hills, 23-7, in a Class A Northwest Division football game Friday night at Lynch field.


Amsterdam head coach Pat Liverio saw his defensive unit take the spotlight forcing seven Burnt Hills turnovers.

It snapped a 31-game win streak for Burnt Hills against Section II competition. The last loss came against Lansingburgh, 27-25, in the Class A Super Bowl in 2007.

This is an especially sweet win for the Rugged Rams which lost to the Spartans 58-0 (2009) and 58-27 (2010).

"It feels great. It feels like you're coaching one of those old teams. The interception was the key. I thought we played good defense all night," said Liverio.

The interception Liverio refers to came from Hector Hill early in the game. After Burnt Hills went ahead, 7-0, Amsterdam took over on its 23, but couldn't move the ball again. So, Burnt Hills gains possession and Hill intercepted a Ryan McDonnell pass and raced 45 yards for a touchdown. That tied the game, 7-7, and gave Amsterdam all the momentum it needed.

"The team speed we had was a big factor. I just thought before the game we were going to beat them," said Liverio.

Liverio has guided Amsterdam to five straight Class A championships before Burnt Hills arrived on the scene winning four of five.

One of the biggest offensive plays came when Geo Rodriguez took a handoff and gave the ball to Chris Carbone on an end-around before he fired a 54 yard touchdown pass to Hill and Amsterdam led, 13-7.

Then Ethan Kisielis recovered a fumble and that led to a 22-yard field goal by Tyler Rouse and a 16-7 lead at the halfway mark.

It was Nathan Farley's turn to shine.

With Burnt Hills deep in its own territory, Farley stripped the ball away from Mark Fialkowski for a seven-yard touchdown and the Rugged Rams had a 23-7 advantage.

And the defense rose to the occasion again when Hill intercepted a pass that thwarted a Burnt Hills drive.

"We told the kids the community is looking for a good performance. I thought we should've had more points. It's not going to get any easier," said Liverio.

Liverio was giving out accolades to Josh Soper and Nick Liverio (ends), Mike Shatas and Chris Rodriguez (along with Christian Lopez and Mason Calhoun (tackles), Hill (cornerback), Carbone (safety), and Farley and Kieselis (inside linebackers).

In other Friday night play, Shenendehowa posted its second shutout beating Guilderland, 27-0. Tony Fusco reached the end zone three times in Class AA Empire Division.

Shaker also notched its second win with a 35-18 Class AA Liberty Division victory over Colonie for the Town Cup. Tyler Oppelt had two touchdowns and Kyle Bernard scored once and added 200 yards rushing.

"It was a great win in an always competitive rivalry game. Colonie came out and played very physical and did some nice things in the passing game. I am very pleased with how our kids played with emotion and played a four quarter game. Kyle Bernard had a great game on the ground as well as some outstanding offensive line play highlighted by David Morrison," said Shaker head coach Greg Sheeler.

Defensively, Shaker's linebackers led by senior Steve Boldish had an outstanding game. Senior Adrian Valentino also excelled at corner defending several passes and had a key interception.

In the battle of Albany teams, CBA had easy work of Albany High, 40-6 in Class AA Empire action.

In Class A, Troy blanked Mohonasen, 27-0 in Southeast Division play. Lansingburgh used a three-touchdown performance from Anthony Walker to defeat South Glens Falls, 28-0, in Interdivision play and Bishop Maginn shut out Scotia-Glenville, 27-0 in a Southeast Division contest. Matthias McKinnon scored three touchdowns to lead Maginn.

Article by Mike Collar

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