SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Talk about making a statement to open the season. Union football has roared out to a 2-0 start under first-year head coach Jon Poppe. The combined score of those two games: 128-0.
In fact, even the Garnet Chargers defense has outscored the two opposing offenses 11-0 on two safeties and a Spencer Goldstein pick six.
There’s no denying competition ramps up this week, though. Union welcomes in a Springfield College team Friday night that’s undefeated as well, and has reached the NCAA Playoffs in back-to-back seasons. It’s also the program where Poppe served as a graduate assistant coach for two years (2008-’09).
He and the team know they’re in for a true test with the Pride.
“We’re telling our team this is a much different opponent than our first two weeks,” said Poppe. “This is a proud program, a playoff program and a place I hold dear to my heart. This is obviously an awesome game, a crucial game between two undefeated teams, and we need to match their physicality. That’s what they hang their hat on, and that’s who we want to be. So, this is a great test, and hopefully we show up, and execute the game plan the right way.”
“The first two teams…they weren’t great,” said senior quarterback Donovan Pacatte. “We know that. But we just try and push each other every day. We try to make the in-practice competition harder than it is on Saturdays, or Friday, in this case. (We just have to) come out Friday and do what we do. Offensively, for us to just move the ball on these guys, I think it would be a huge statement for us, and maybe an eye-opener for the rest of the league.”
Opening kickoff is at 7 p.m. It’s Union’s first night game in Schenectady in 13 years, and first Friday game since 1991.