GUILDERLAND: A victory to grow on

It wasn't perfect, but it was a good beginning for the Guilderland football team.

Quarterback Drew Smith ran for two touchdowns, and the Dutchmen defense kept Albany out of the end zone in a 20-0 Empire Division victory Friday in Guilderland.

I was really pleased overall with the physical aspect of the game, said Guilderland coach Dan Penna. "We knew Albany had some speed, and we did a good job of containing it."

The Dutchmen (1-0) looked like they were going to run away with the game after scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter, but Albany held their offense in check through the second half.

"We shot ourselves in the foot when we didn't execute offensively, but you could see we have big play capability," said Penna.

Guilderland's defense made the first big play, though. Albany was driving in Dutchmen territory when a series of penalties pushed the Falcons back to the Guilderland 35-yard line. Then, Jose George fumbled the ball on fourth down, which gave the Dutchmen the ball at their 30 with less than two minutes left in the first quarter.

Smith started the second quarter by racing up the middle for a 32-yard gain that gave Guilderland a first-and-goal at Albany's 10-yard line. On the next play, Paul Booker swept to the right sideline and into the end zone to put the Dutchmen ahead 6-0.

Smith gave Albany more headaches the next time he touched the ball. The senior fielded a punt at his own 26-yard line, avoided a couple of tackles and took off for a 74-yard touchdown run. He then added a two-point conversion pass to Booker " his only pass completion of the game " to make the score 14-0.

"When I caught (the punt), I actually thought of Reggie Bush," said Smith. "I just said, 'Let me catch it and explode.'"

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