SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A week after Union and RPI renewed its rivalry on the ice, they’ll do so again on the gridiron this weekend.
The Dutchman Shoes Trophy will be on the line for the 73rd time Saturday in a rivalry that dates back to 1886 – the oldest college football rivalry in New York State. And there’s more than just pride and bragging rights on the line in this year’s matchup.
At 8-1, Union can solidify a potential NCAA playoff bid under first-year head coach Jon Poppe, who’s being introduced to the Dutchman Shoes game this week.
The trophy currently resides with RPI after last year’s 23-13 victory in Troy. The Engineers have won two straight meetings, and seven of the last nine; they want to continue their recent dominance in this matchup.
Those factors add even more significance to an already revered rivalry.
“The alumni, the players made it clear during the interview process that this is what it’s all about,” said Poppe. “Win, lose – in terms of your record – 4-5, 5-4, it doesn’t matter. You gotta win this game. Everything we do, day in and day out, always comes back to this rivalry.”
“What makes RPI special is playing in rivalry games – playing in these big games,” added RPI head coach Ralph Isernia. “That’s why you go to RPI; that’s why you go to Union – to play in these big, marquee games. It’s always on the schedule. It’s always the last regular season game. We know what’s at stake, and you have two great teams that are gonna be going at it this Saturday.”
Union will play host for this season’s game, and kickoff from Frank Bailey Field is set for noon.