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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 23, 2010

Dutchmen football let game slip away in rainy affair

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Rain and wind made for subpar conditions during last Thursday’s football game between the Dutchmen and Christian Brothers Academy. The Dutch fought through the elements on home turf, but couldn’t hold on for the win.

Guilderland lost, 33 to 21, decreasing its season record to 1-2. Head Coach Dan Penna said after the game that his team “made too many mistakes” against a quality opponent.

“It’s always a tough time against them,” Penna said of the Brothers. “They made great plays tonight.”

With CBA leading, 12 to 7, early in the third quarter, Elijah Dukes returned a Dutch punt for 20 yards, giving the Brothers great field position at the Guilderland 31-yard line.

On third down, Dukes took a handoff and completed a pass to Max Weaver for a 25-yard score, putting the team up, 19 to 7. It was a trick play, with quarterback Casey Crotty initially handing the ball off to Ted Cillis, who then handed it to Dukes.

“We made some mental mistakes and it gave them opportunities to make great plays,” said Dutch senior receiver Dylan August. “We dropped some key passes and missed a few blocks.”

The Dutchmen trailed, 26 to 21, in the fourth quarter, but the team recovered a huge fumble by the Brothers’ Trey Williams to give the offense a shot at the lead. Tim O’Connor was wide open for a catch that most likely would have been a touchdown, but quarterback Ryan Smith couldn’t hit the target.

However, Smith did hit Dom Litz for 30 yards to bring Guilderland into CBA territory with just a few minutes left in regulation play. Smith had one final chance on fourth down, but was sacked in the backfield.

Then the Brothers put the game completely out of reach with a rushing touchdown by Nick Antoinette. The Dutch players were not only soaking wet, but clearly dejected.

“This was a heartbreaker,” said Smith, who still leads Section II in passing yards with 751 after throwing for 302 on Thursday. “We work hard every game, but we need to work harder.”

Smith told The Enterprise that the Dutch need to get more repetition on the field, and as a quarterback, he needs to “step up in the pocket” more often. “The more plays we run, the better we’ll get,” he said.

Brothers’ Head Coach Joe Burke made a confession after the game, saying that he “feared” the Dutch team because of Smith’s abilities to throw the ball. CBA got over its terror on Thursday with some illustrious playing on both sides.

“We had pretty good defense on the run tonight,” Burke said. “Usually, our team is better against opponents that run the ball more, but we had a different look at it. I’m very proud of the defense for stepping up and slowing Smith down.”

Guilderland is now 0-2 in the Empire Division of Class AA. The Dutch will have an opportunity to make up some ground against Albany, another winless Empire team, on the road on Friday night.

“We battled hard,” said Penna last Thursday. “It’s not the loss that hurts the most, it’s the lost opportunities.”

“We can’t take it easy on anyone,” Smith added.

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