BURNT HILLS — Liam O’Mara is the type of running back that offensive linemen love.
He works hard, runs hard on every down and he finishes every run.
On Friday night, O’Mara turned in a game for the ages, scoring every one of Queensbury’s points in a 42-21 Class A Grasso victory over Burnt Hills, the No. 4-ranked team in the state.
“That’s phenomenal, actually,” senior tackle Devin Hunt said when told of O’Mara’s performance. “He just drives — he keeps his feet moving and powers his way through. I just love him.”
“I wasn’t really thinking about it — I just go in wanting another (touchdown),” said O’Mara, a senior who rushed for 183 yards and six touchdowns on 23 carries, and added three two-point conversions to set Queensbury’s all-time single-game scoring record.
“He was possessed tonight — he was a man on fire,” said Queensbury head coach Matt Crossman, whose 11th-ranked team finished the regular season at 6-0 in the division, 7-0 overall. “He’s one of our senior leaders that you expect to show up.”
The win clinched the division title and home-field advantage for Queensbury, which will host La Salle — the fourth-place team in Class A Capital — next Saturday. Official Section II Football Tournament pairings will be announced Sunday.
Queensbury set the tone by chewing up the entire first quarter on a single touchdown drive — an epic 20-play, 96-yard march that was capped by O’Mara’s 2-yard scoring run on the first play of the second quarter.
“It’s all about the grind — that’s literally what our offense is based on,” Hunt said. “That was 12 minutes of us grinding and pounding and getting into the end zone.”
“That was amazing,” said O’Mara, who also had an interception on defense. “The offensive line is the heart of this team. That’s what we’re all about — keep grinding and getting those 5 yards at a time.”
Burnt Hills tied the score 8-8 late in the second quarter, but Jason Rodriguez returned the ensuing kickoff to the Burnt Hills 24. O’Mara ran 15 yards on first down, and after a late-hit penalty put the ball on the 4, he finished the drive with a touchdown for a 14-8 halftime lead.
Early in the third quarter, Queensbury’s Zaki Farah blocked a punt to give his team the ball at the Burnt Hills 9. On the next play, O’Mara swept around left end for his third touchdown of the night and a 22-8 lead.
Burnt Hills (5-1, 6-1), however, is a quick-strike team, and Darien LaPietro connected with Rece Gobel on a pair of touchdown passes to pull within 22-21 late in the third quarter.
But Queensbury was not finished — and neither was O’Mara. He scored on all three of Queensbury’s fourth-quarter possessions, on runs of 16, 5 and 18 yards. The last one came after a fumble recovery by Connor Havern at midfield.
In this battle of the Spartans, Queensbury held explosive Burnt Hills to 155 total yards, although the latter lost 43 on two bad snaps.
“It’s awesome, I’ve never beaten (Burnt Hills) on the field, so this means a lot,” O’Mara said. “Now a whole new season begins Monday.”
“Home-field (for the playoffs) is key — that was the goal in this one,” said Crossman, whose team will host a semifinal game if it wins next week.