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Columbia's defense shuts down Dutchmen

Guilderland coach Dan Penna referred to his team as out of sync last Friday night after a 27-7 loss to a surging Columbia team at Nick Budnowski Field in East Greenbush.

The Dutchmen (2-1) were limited to 125 yards of total offense by a Columbia defense that has given up 13 points in games against LaSalle and Shenendehowa.

"I think we played a lousy football game tonight. They kept us out of sync all night, and there are no excuses on our part. I give Columbia all the credit. We knew they were a very good football team," Penna said.

The Blue Devils (3-0) broke out to an early 3-0 lead after a 27-yard field goal by John Kebea. The lead was short lived thanks to a spectacular 81 yard touchdown run by Paul Booker to give the Dutchmen their only lead. Nick Zanta added the extra point for a 7-3 advantage.

After Booker's touchdown, it was all Columbia. The Blue Devils utilized the mobility of quarterback Chris Shaver to take the lead after he ran15 yards for one of his two touchdowns. Kebea added the extra point to give the Blue Devils a 10-7 lead.

Columbia went into halftime with a 17-7 lead after another touchdown run by Shaver " this time from five yards out. The touchdown was set up by an 81-yard punt return by Jose George down to Guilderland's 2-yard line.

The Dutchmen tried to mount a comeback on their second possession of the third quarter after a fumble recovery put them on the Columbia 24-yard line. A roughing the passer penalty brought the Dutchmen down to the 10-yard line before quarterback Greg Barcomb was picked off by Jeff McCormick. McCormick later returned another interception 38 yards for a touchdown, and a Kebea extra point made it 24-7.

"We prepared our kids for what we thought was a dogfight. We gave up some big plays, an interception returned for a touchdown and a punt return. They (Columbia) made the plays and came out fired up," Penna said.

Guilderland travels to Niskayuna Thursday to play the 0-3 Silver Warriors.

"It was hard to match (Columbia's) intensity and the intensity that we had coming off our big win (13-0 against Troy). Next week (at Niskayuna), we will certainly be ready. After this, I'm sure they're going to be itching to get back on the field," Penna said.""

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