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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 25, 2008

Flying Dutchmen put up good fight against Shenendehowa

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– The Guilderland football team had a 23 to 19 lead over Shenendehowa with 3:41 left in regulation play on Friday night. The Dutchmen didn’t win the game.

Shen’s Suhayb Banks had two runs – for 43 and 11 yards – to give Shen the 33-23 win on the Dutchmen’s home field. Banks had four running touchdowns and 171 yards for the game.

“Banks was the type of runner who would take small plays and turn them into big plays,” said Guilderland Head Coach Dan Penna. “Shen is a good team with a strong offensive line. Good teams will get yards and make plays; we knew that coming in.”

The game was tied up at six after the first quarter. Cody Futia caught a five-yard pass from Bobby Falcone, who has been making some “huge” plays for Guilderland as of late, said Penna. “Falcone is playing some excellent football,” he said.

The Dutch got a six-yard run from Matt Ward in the second quarter and had a 13-12 lead at halftime. “This team is improving every week. We can match up with any team in Class AA,” said Penna.

Guilderland has been getting a boost from the quarterback duo of Falcone and Ryan Smith. The two have been sharing time and sharpening their skills.

“Coming into the season, Falcone was the better runner and Smith was the better passer,” said Penna. “Now Falcone is getting better at throwing, while Smith is starting to run more. It’s good to have two weapons at quarterback.”

Smith and Falcone combined for 223 passing yards against Shen, which had 318 yards on the ground. Falcone completed 9-of-13 for 115 yards and ran for 46 more.

Banks’s three touchdowns in the fourth quarter were the ultimate demise for Guilderland. “The defense did have a few breakdowns, but I’m really proud of this team,” said Penna. “There is never a dull moment with this team and my guys keep getting better every week.”

Penna says that his team likes to play powerful football teams because it “makes the team better and more prepared” for the next game.

Guilderland’s next game will be home against Ballston Spa on Sept. 26, the team’s last home game of the season. “We’re really excited for Ballston Spa, we played them twice last year and beat them in the playoffs,” said Penna. “I’m sure they haven’t forgotten.”

Guilderland is 1-2 with four more games remaining. Penna says his team will continue to take steps forward. “By doing this,” he said, “we know we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

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