TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – RPI and Union College football teams will face off on Saturday in the 114th Dutchman Shoes Trophy Game.
“This week, the trophy, the game, the rivalry, the tradition, all of that stuff, that really takes care of itself,” RPI head football coach Ralph Isernia said.
After three years, Isernia said the Engineers’s rivalry with Union has mutual respect but not a lot of love.
“You may forget a battle here and there,” he said. “You may forget a game here and there. But you never forget your shoes game.”
Union head football coach Jeff Behrman will get his first taste of the Route 7 Rivalry on Saturday, but everything was explained to him before he was hired.
“It was explained that it really doesn’t matter what you do the rest of the season,” he said. “It comes down to one game.”
That said, Saturday will be the 114th meeting between the two schools. And while Union has won 80 of the matchups, the last three years have gone the Engineers’s way.
“We’re trying to be the first team, actually, in RPI history to ever win four games in a row,” RPI wide receiver Joey Giacone said. “So that’s a pretty big deal.”
While the Dutchmen’s seniors, like left tackle Sean Carey, are hoping to stop the trend.
“It’s definitely been crushing the past three years, especially because there have been some really close games and this is the one you mark on your calendar, and you say, ‘You got to win this game!’” Carey said. “So it would mean a lot for us to bring it home this time.”
While neither team will play beyond this week, one thing is for sure.
“The shoes,” Giacone said. “It makes or breaks the season, and if you win the shoes, it’s a successful year.”
“These shoes mean a lot to us, so this game is going to have a lot of emotion coming from us, and hopefully, we’ll bring home those shoes,” Union safety Brian Alebiosu said.