special teams when he was forced to the sidelines. Davis isn't the next Ray Rice (hey, who is?), but I think the analogy holds up. . . . New Rochelle 28, North Tonawanda 27.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (Sec. 2, 12-0) vs. Sweet Home (Sec. 6, 12-0).
Date and time: Saturday, 6 p.m.
State rankings: Sweet Home is No. 1, Burnt Hills No. 2.
Digging inside the schedules: Burnt Hills has steamrolled its opponents by 550-134, including a robust 226-67 in five postseason games. The 33-18 win in the Section 2 final vs. a Troy team that had been crushing everyone was confirmation that the Spartans were for real again this fall.
Sweet Home has outscored its foes by 441-143, including 171-53 in the playoffs. Players and coaches point to a 44-23 win vs. Iroquois on Oct. 2 as the game in which the pieces started coming together.
More about Burnt Hills: The Spartans were positively frightening in their 54-13 victory against Malone Franklin Academy in the quarterfinals, scoring seven times in their first 15 plays. Junior Brandon Beatty is at 1,110 yards on 130 carries with 18 TDs. Classmate Evan Nusbaum broke loose for 320 yards in last week's 4-16 win vs. Cornwall to reach 914 for the season (with 19 TDs) on just 68 carries. He's also kicked 60 extra points and plays defense.
Senior jack of all trades Tyler Paluba has rushed 19 times for 307 yards and caught 16 passes for 266 yards and five scores from QB Phil Neumann (88-for-139, 1,400 yards), with Keaton Flint making 35 catches for 598 yards and eight TDs.
Jacob Shell, the 8-year-old son of coach Matt Shell, has been hospitalized in Boston while being treated for neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. Matt Shell has been commuting to Massachusetts between games.
More about Sweet Home: Senior Pat McMahon will beat you with his arm (25-for-38, 305 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT in the last two weeks) or legs (17 carries, 136 yards, 2 TDs). His season passing totals are 81-for-153 for 1,230 yards. . . . Ralph Neasman ran 23 times for 112 yards in the semifinals and is at 149/899 for the year . . . Receiver/DB Jahann Williams is a jumper with the focus and grit to come down with any ball that's close. Williams, D.J. Nettles and Kyle Luchey anchor the secondary.
Sweet Home is on a 25-game winning streak. As sloppy as they were last week vs. Whitesboro, committing five turnovers, they still dominated for a 36-13 win against a team that had been averaged 40.5 points a game in the postseason.
The Panthers have been without all-state player Deshanaro Morris, an impact linebacker and running back, since a car crash left him confined to a wheelchair shortly after last season. He made 10 tackles, intercepted a pass and rushed for what proved to be the winning TD in the 2008 state final.
Past championships: Sweet Home is the defending state champion, having defeated Burnt Hills 35-28.
The coaches: Matt Shell (Burnt Hills) and John Faller (Sweet Home).
Making a pick: This figures to be the best game of the weekend. Burnt Hills has somehow managed to improve itself minus QB Paul Layton and its top two RBs from a year ago, and Sweet Home is not quite as good as the outfit that two-year starting QB Casey Kacz directed to the 2008 crown. Struggling to beat Grand Island in the Section 6 final raised eyebrows, but beating Aquinas and Whitesboro to reach the Dome carries slightly more weight. Nettles (26 catches, 381 yards) could be the difference. . . . Sweet Home 28, Burnt Hills 20.
[ Read the Class B-C-D capsules here ]