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Saratoga Springs hosts annual college football game

With the college football season upon us, fans of the gridiron can check out the nation's top teams on television every Saturday. However, on Saturday, Oct. 4, fans will have an opportunity to see two national-level colleges do battle on a local stage, as Navy faces Cornell in the fourth annual Adirondack Trust Allegiance Bowl Sprint Football game at Saratoga Springs High School.

The Adirondack Trust Company is the event's primary sponsor, and proceeds from the event benefit numerous area charities.

Sprint Football is a game featuring the same rules as the standard sport, with the one exception -- each player must weigh less than 172 pounds.

This year's game will pit the 2006 and 2007 Collegiate Sprint Football League champions against each other, and is a crucial game in the 2008 season. Along with Navy and Cornell, the league also features teams fielded by Army, Princeton, Penn, and a new team for 2008, Mansfield College.

The Allegiance Bowl was founded by Saratoga Springs-based attorney S. Scott Perkins, who gained an interest in Sprint Football in the 1970s when his brother played for Army as a defensive tackle. After his brother's death, Perkins formed a committee in 1999 to bring a game to the Saratoga area, finally succeeding in 2005 when Army needed a stadium to play in while their West Point facilities were under repair.

The game has grown in popularity each year, and in 2008 features former president and college football player Jimmy Carter as the honorary chair.

He played football at Army and also has a degree from Union College, said Perkins. "We're honored to have him as our honorary chair."

Sprint Football coaches said they enjoy playing in Saratoga Springs.

Head coach Maj. Jake Jenkins, USMC, and his Navy Midshipmen took on Army in last year's contest, and were very happy with the experience.

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