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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 9, 2008

Guilderland football makes “costly mistakes” against Niskayuna

By Jordan J. Michael

NISKAYUNA –– With a 1-3 record, the Flying Dutchmen football team was looking to turn around its season at Niskayuna on Friday. “The dam broke,” said Head Coach Dan Penna.

The “dam” Penna referred to was his football team. He said the team played “poor fundamental football” in the 42-to-7 loss against Niskayuna. “We had a perfect storm of mistakes and that costs you against a good team,” he said.

The Silver Warriors’ quarterback Dan Peters is a third-year starter who knows how to throw the ball accurately. “They have the best passing offense in the league behind the experience of Peters,” Penna said. “We let Peters pass all over the field.”

Peters completed 10 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns. He also had two rushing touchdowns of one and two yards. “There were several big-pass plays that turned the game around early on,” said Penna.

Niskayuna got the scoring started early after Guilderland fumbled the opening kickoff. The Warriors marched down near the goal line, where Peters ran it in from two yards out.

The Dutchmen got the ball back, but quickly punted it back to Niskayuna. Peters served up a 74-yard touchdown pass to Kadeem Miller to make it 14-0, with about 3:00 left in the first quarter.

“A team can back up or attack on pass coverage,” Penna said. “We decided to attack and got beat multiple times.”

Guilderland would have one drive left before the quarter ended. Jason Lawrence busted out a 53-yard run to move the ball to the Nisky 18-yard line. The Dutch couldn’t get the ball into the end zone though, and turned the ball over on downs.

The second quarter began with the Warriors again marching the ball downfield. Eventually, it was on the one-yard line and Peters had an easy run for his second rushing touchdown. The Nisky lead was 21-to-0 with 7:59 left in the first half.

“We were aggressive on defense and had three sacks,” said Penna. “You live by the blitz and you die by the blitz.”

On the ensuing kickoff, Jesse Terzian had a big return for the Dutchmen, landing the offense on the Warriors’ 31-yard line. Lawrence would eventually pound it in from one yard out to put the team on the board, 21-7.

Niskayuna continued to gain yards at will and was once again near the goal line. Miller caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Peters to increase the score to 28-7. Peters would throw another touchdown to Peter Furey before the half ended.

Guilderland trailed, 35-7, at halftime.

“The outcome of this game was the combination of Niskayuna being really talented and us making mistakes,” Penna said.

The Warriors scored early in the third quarter, with an 11-yard run by Joe Twitty. The game looked to be out of reach for the Dutchmen, down 42 to 7.

“We tackled quite poorly and didn’t stay on our blocks,” said Penna. “Tackling is a mentality and we need to focus more on our fundamentals.”

Guilderland’s Bobby Falcone threw two interceptions in the third quarter and Billy Kemp recovered a fumble. Kemp and Alex Trolenberg each had a sack in the game.

Penna said that his team has been enduring some injuries lately. “You can’t use injuries as an excuse for losing,” he said. “I expect good play out of the guys that fill in for injured players.”

Guilderland (1-4) visits a winless Albany team this Friday. Albany has a new coach this year and has given up many points to its opponents.

“Strong defensive play is the key to beating Albany,” said Penna. “I need my team to score more points and tackle better in the last third of the season. It’s all about fundamentals.”

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