GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Few football teams have had recent success over Shaker. In fact, Guilderland’s the only local one to beat the Blue Bison since 2017.
The Dutchmen ended Shaker’s season in the 2019 sectional semifinals. They did it again in the Class AA championship this past spring. Now, they look to hand the 5-0 Blue Bison their first loss of the season on Friday night.
But both teams look a lot different than the last time they met, particularly the Blue Bison offense. Led by sophomore quarterback Jake Iacobaccio, the Shaker offense has leapt to new heights, averaging 36 points per game. Guilderland head coach Dan Penna knows the Dutchmen will have a lot on their plate.
“We’ve seen them a lot over the years, and really respect the different wrinkles they put in and the things they’ve done to put their quarterback, who’s a tremendous football player, at an advantage, whether it’s running the ball or passing the ball,” Penna said. “There’s so much there that you really can’t focus on—’Hey stop this!’—because they’re going to come at you with something else.”
Penna believes his team needs to play sound, fundamental football to slow down the Blue Bison attack. “It’s about following your assignments and playing—I know it sounds cliché, but—playing fast and physical.”
There was a palpable buzz at Guilderland’s practice on Wednesday, and senior linebacker and wing-back Dillon Blanchard believes the attitude they’re bringing to practice, and ultimately the game on Friday, will have an impact on the outcome.
“Everybody’s getting riled up right now,” said Blanchard. “That’s the biggest thing. We keep that intensity. The biggest thing is the intensity of the game. We keep up that intensity, I don’t think there’s anyone who can hang around with us.”
Kickoff Friday is set for 7 p.m.