We're just a couple of minutes from kickoff at the Carrier Dome in the Class B state championship game between the Batavia Blue Devils and the Glens Falls Indians.
We spoke with a former Batavia player before the game who played in last season's opener at the Carrier Dome and he said on that September day it got hot inside the dome. Something to watch for this game -- whether the colder November weather helps keep it cooler in here or if it gets hot and then the effect that has on players. Ironically, the Carrier Dome is not air-conditioned.
Other keys: Can the Blue Devils keep Indians QB Joseph Girard III in the pocket? And if they can, pressure him while the secondary maintains coverage? Turnovers good be key in a potentially high-scoring game.
On the Batavia side, it's likely all about Ray Leach, who has gained more than 1,200 yards and scored 22 touchdowns in the last three games. Even if Glens Falls slows Leach, Batavia still has weapons in Ethan Biscaro, Alex Rood and Taiyo Iburi-Bethel.
It looks like Batavia comes into the game with the bigger line on offense and defense.
Check back shortly for updates or tune in to WBTA for the broadcast or WBTAi.com for the live stream.
Opening kickoff to Batavia is out of the back of the end zone. Batavia starts on the 20-yard line. Leach on the first play, six-yard gain. Leach gets the first down on the next play. On the third play, Leach turns the corner and carries the ball to the Indians 23-yard line, with the last 15 yards gained coming while dragging defenders with him. Leach gains just two on his next carry. Holding penalty. First and 20. Pass to Taiyo Iburi-Bethal for a five-yard game. Leach out wide, pass from Biscaro, he gains 10 before an Indian defender grabs his jersey. Leach drags him five yards and then breaks the tackle. Leach breaks two more tackles and scores. Extra point missed. 6-0 Batavia.
Batavia kickoff out of bounds. Glens Falls starts on its 35. Joseph Girard passes on the first play. Dropped by Trent Girard on the far side. Joseph Girard barely backs it to the line of scrimmage after being held in the pocket and trying to run up the middle. Girard sweeps right and on the run heaves the ball far downfield and the pass is incomplete. Andrew Francis with good coverage. Glens Falls punts. No return.
Batavia starts on its own 26. Leach up the middle on the first play. Two-yard gain. Leach has nowhere to go on the second-down play. He barely makes it back to the line of scrimmage. Biscaro on a long pass to Iburi-Bethel. Complete at the 50-yard line. Iburi-Bethel on an end of round, nine-yard gain. Biscaro from shotgun, fakes a pass to a wideout and then darts up the middle for a three-yard game. First down. Biscaro from the shotgun sacked on a blitz. Second and 16. Biscaro on a keeper, collapses before he reaches the line, untouched and is on the field being tended to by a trainer.
Biscaro limps off the field. He was holding his knee. Third and 17. Leach takes over at QB. Snap to Leach and Leach heaves a high-arching pass intended for Andrew Francis, bounces off his hands and Iburi-Bethel picks the ball out of the air and streaks into the end zone. Touchdown. Leach scores on the two-point conversion. 14-0 Batavia.
Batavia recovers an onside kick at the Glens Falls' 45 yard line. Leach starts at QB and runs off the snap for a three-yard game. Timeout Batavia with 2:47 left in the quarter.
Leach at QB, and he hands the ball to Rood, who gains three yards. Leach back at QB. He drops the snap, recovers, breaks a tackle and sweeps to the nearside and gets back to the line of scrimmage. Fourth and 4. Leach on direct snap, sweeps right and gets six yards. Empty backfield, snap to Leach, runs left and gains three. Clock under 20 seconds, direct snap to Leach who tries running to his right and is tripped up in the backfield and flags fly. Holding on Batavia, 10-yard penalty. That's how the quarter ends. 14-0 Batavia.
Second and 19 for Batavia to start the second quarter. Leach takes the snap, long pass intercepted by Girard and he's tackled on the seven-yard line. Girard misses a pass two passes and then scrambling, nearly sacked in the end zone, on the run throws a long pass to Davi Barclay, complete at Batavia's 33-yard line. Handoff to Aalijah Sampson runs left and carries the ball to the 19-yard line for a first down. Sampson gets handoff again, carries the ball to the four-yard line. First and goal. Girard fakes the handoff and tries to run off tackle and stopped at the line of scrimmage. Batavia's defense again blocks up the middle of the line and Sampson stopped for a one-yard loss. Third down. Sampson rolls out to his right and is pursued. Cam White is on his tail and he reverses direction and as White reaches for him he seems to just take an extra step and eludes White, runs to far sideline, down the line, and into the end zone. Touchdown The extra point is blocked by Andrew Francis. 14-6, Batavia still leads.
Kick to Leach on the five-yard line. He returns it to Batavia's 27. Rood is QB on the first possession. Hands off to Leach for a two-yard gain. Incomplete pass from Rood. Intended for Iburi-Bethel. Rood takes the snap, drops back and feigns pass and then decides to run. Two-yard gain. Batavia will punt on 4th and 7. No return. Glens Falls takes over on its 29.
First and 10, Sampson on the carry for four yards. Girard hits Trent Girard the Indians have first and 10 at the 48-yard line. Girard with a completion to Sampson, nine-yard gain. Girard with plenty of time in the pocket, long pass intended for David Barclay but it falls beyond his diving reach. Girard rolls out, forced to turn back toward the right side and is tackled from behind for a loss by Josh Barber of a yard. Fourth and one. Timeout. There is 5:20 left in the half. Girard has to scramble and his pursued through the backfield, he runs right, gets the first down and cuts back to the middle past nearly every Batavia defender. Before he reaches the end zone with a Batavia player close, he dives and looks like he gets the ball over the line but a ref 15 yards away rules him down at the one-yard line. Sampson scores on the next play and then runs the ball in for the two-point conversion. 14-14.
There is 4:55 left in the half. The kickoff goes out the back of the end zone. Batavia's ball on its own 20. Leach drops the handoff and recovers his own fumble on the 17-yard line. Second and 13. Leach up the middle, finds a hole, cuts to his left, gets a good block and finds open field. He stumbles and recovers, three Indians pursuing him, he heads toward the sideline and outruns a lone defender for a score. That's an 83-yard TD run. Timeout before the extra point. Leach on the carry for a two-point try and he's stuffed at the line. 20-14, Batavia leads.
Batavia again tries an onside kick. The Indians get first and 10 from their own 49-yard line. Girard with a pass to Sampson, complete. Leach tries to shove him out of bounds but he stays on his feet and finds some space. He's tackled at about the 10-yard line. Sampson with the carry to the three-yard line. Sampson with the ball again and sweeps to the left, tackled at the one-yard line. Sampson up the middle for the score. Extra point is good for a 21-20 lead for the Indians. The first time all season Batavia has trailed.
According to our photographer on the sideline, Jim Burns, Ethan Biscaro is being taken by his parents for medical treatment. He's out for the remainder of the game.
Batavia takes over on the 20. Leach breaks free for again to the 38-yard line. Leach with the next carry for a five-yard gain. 2:06 left. Batavia has no timeouts left. On a flea-flicker, Leach throws down to the 20, intended for Iburi-Biscaro, incomplete. Leach with the carry. No gain. Flag on the play. Illegal formation declined. Fourth and three, Batavia will punt. Line-drive punt with a favorable Batavia punt. A 47-yard punt, ball down on the five-yard line.
Sampson on the carry from the five, three-yard gain. Girard is sacked, bringing up third and 17 but Glens Falls lets the clock run out on the half.
The half ends with Glens Falls leading 21-20.
During half-time, Ethan Biscaro was warming up. Apparently, in consultation with his parents, the decision has been made to let him play in the second half.
Batavia's kickoff to start the second half goes to Girard at the 20 who brings it back to the Indians 38, first and 10. Movement by Batavia on the line. Flag. Five-yard penalty. First and five. Girard drops back to pass and seems to have plenty of time to pass and then faces pressure and heads toward the far side and steps out of bounds for a short game. Pass for a first down, ball on the Indians 48. Girard rolls out and throws across the middle of the field to Trent Girard, complete to Batavia's 30. Sampson tripped up in the backfield by Batavia, second and 13. Girard drops deep, scrambles and just before reaching the line, throws a bullet at the knees of a receiver who drops it. Girard begins in the shotgun, scrambles, long pass to the far side, pass broken up by Iburi-Bethel. Fourth and 13. Girard's pass into the end zone, complete for a touchdown to Barclay. Francis wants an offense pass interference flag but doesn't get it. Extra point good. 28-20, Glens Falls.
Batavia starts on its own 20. Biscaro is at QB. Handoff to Leach, five-yard gain. Leach stopped at the line. Pass wide to Iburi-Bethel on the nearside, gain to the 33, making it first and 10. Leach up the middle, five-yard gain. Leach bottled up at the line, but gets two yards before being pushed back. Biscaro has Iburi-Bethel wide open down the middle with a pass to the 35 but Iburi-Bethel drops the pass. Batavia in punt formation. High deep punt by Francis. Glens Falls gets the ball on their own 21.
First play, Sampson dropped for a loss. Girard with a bullet to Trent Girard at the first-down marker on the far side. First down. Girard sacked by Iburi-Bethel. Two-yard loss. Girard on the run finds Trent Girard wide open on the 30. Rood makes a shoe-string tackle on the seven-yard line to save a touchdown. Sampson up the middle. Batavia claims a fumble but doesn't get the call. Ball on the two. Sampson again dropped for a loss. Ball on the three. Third and goal with 4:01 left in the third. Girard rolls right with two defenders in pursuit, on the two-yard line, they lunge at him and he sidesteps the tackle attempt and scores. Extra point is good. 35-20.
Iburi-Bethel with the return. Batavia's ball on the 33-yard line, first and 10. Leach with the carry, out to the 39. Leach breaks two tackles on the way to the Indian's 42-yard line. First and 10. Leach with the ball, picks his way to the 29. First and 10. Leach off the left side, gain of three. Leach looking tired. A blitzer gets past him and sacks Biscaro, there is a fumble but Biscaro recovers. Biscaro passes to Zack Anderson back to the original line of scrimmage. Fourth and 10. Biscaro sacked. He drops the ball. The fumble is recovered by a Batavia lineman and Biscaro is again down on the turf but limps off the field. Glens Falls takes over on downs on their own 37.
Indians call timeout after lining up in formation. Five seconds left in the third quarter.
Trent Girard with a reception for a first down.
End of the third, 35-20, Glens Falls over Batavia.
Girard loses three on a keeper. On the next play, Girard again eludes the rush but his pass falls incomplete. Girard finds Trent Girard 10-yards out, who is wide open and with no defenders behind, touchdown. Extra point is good. 42-20.
OBSERVATION: Girard is a much better QB than what Batavia saw in Patrick Hackler last week, and Hackler is very good. Girard has a better touch, can also throw bullets, throw down the field on the run without under-throwing his targets, and is very hard to contain or catch in the backfield.
On first and 10 at the 15, direct snap to Leach, who eludes all tackles and carries the ball to the 50 before stepping out of bounds. Leach on the next carry, three-yard gain. Iburi-Bethel on the end-around, big gain out to the 30. Leach, direct snap, hands it off to Iburi-Bethel who breaks a tackle in the backfield and gains a couple of yards. Leach on direct snap runs to the outside and gets enough yardage for the first down but flag on the field. Holding on Batavia. Rood in the shotgun, pump fakes, looks downfield. Iburi-Bethel is wide open. The pass is on the numbers. He drops the ball. Third and 12 with 8:47 to go. Rood swings right, pursued by Terrell Bonner-Welch who hits him from behind. Rood lost the ball but he appears to have been down. There is a penalty against Batavia. 4th and 19. Rood drops back, in the grasp of a defender, he spins and tosses the ball down the middle of the field and finds Daemon Konieczny but well short of a first down. Glens Falls takes over on downs at their own 42.
Girard is sacked for an 11-yard loss. Girard sacked again, ball now on the 21. Glens Falls will punt.
With 6:12 left, down 42-20, Batavia starts on its own 43. Leach runs left, picks up about 10 where he breaks a tackle, and he changes direction heading toward the far sideline, picks up a couple of blockers and steps out of bounds at the 21. Leach with the ball, heads to his left and finds nothing but open field to the end zone. Touchdown. Two-point try fails, 42-26 Glens Falls.
Batavia tries an onside kick but a whistle blows at the line of scrimmage. Illegal motion. Batavia will kick again from the 35. The kick fails to travel 10 yards before going out of bounds at the 40. Five-yard penalty on Batavia, first and 10 from Batavia's 35.
Sampson with the carry for four yards. Sampson with a 25-yard carry but a flag on the play. Block below the waist, 10-yard penalty on the Indians. Sampson again, big gain, to the 22. First down. Great backfield tackle on Sampson sweeping to the left, loss of two. Sampson breaks a tackle and finds some space but Iburi-Bethel catches him and comes over his back, hanging on, trying to strip the ball, and Sampson shakes him off and scores. Extra point is no good, 48-26 Glens Falls.
Time left, 3:44.
Rood at QB, hands off to Leach, sweeping left and a five-yard gain. Ball on the 25. Batavia tries a tricky play, with snap to Rood, hand off to Leach, pitch to Iburi-Bethel who heaves the ball downfield well beyond any receivers or defenders. Rood scrambles stops, turns to throw just pass the line, and lineman T.J. Guy intercepts giving Glens Falls the ball on Batavia's 16.
Sampson on the sweep to the left. Nobody touches him. Touchdown. Extra point makes it 55-26. There was a late flag on Sampson run, a personal foul that will be enforced on the kickoff.
Glens Falls kicking off from Batavia's 45. The kick skips through the end zone.
First play from the 20, Leach with the ball, untouched through the line, all the way to the end zone for an 80-yard TD. Leach stopped on the two-point try. 55-32, Glens Falls.
Leach is exhausted.
Penalty on Batavia's kick. Try again from the 35. And another penalty. Encouragement. Ball on the 30. After two failed onside attempts, deep kick to Sampson who bobbles the ball but recovers, and carries the ball to Glens Falls 41-yard line. Sampson with the carry, six-yard game. Sampson with a first-down carry. Sampson, no gain. Less than a minute to play. Time will expire with Glens Falls up 55-32.
Here's the hardware they're playing for.