Union Snaps Losing Streak to RPI, Takes Back Dutchman Shoes
The Dutchman Shoes trophy is enough to motivate RPI and Union in what is New York state's oldest football rivalry, but there was plenty more on the line Saturday. For RPI, there was only the third undefeated, untied regular season in program history and a potential home playoff game to worry about. For Union, there was a second straight season of seven or more wins for the first time in more than a decade.
RPI has controlled this rivalry; Engineers head coach Ralph Isernia is 5-0 since arriving in Troy. RPI's seniors had never tasted defeat at the hands of their rival, Union's didn't know the feeling of victory in this game. The Dutchmen defense came to play on Saturday. It forced five turnovers and one of them was instant gratification, a pick-6 late in the game en route to a 34-10 win at RPI.
The Engineers had already locked up at least a share of the Liberty League title and the conference's only automatic bid to the Division III playoffs. A win would have almost guaranteed RPI of a home game in those playoffs. At 6-2 coming into the Shoes game, Union had its sights set on a second straight bowl game appearance and the win over the 14th ranked team in the country does wonders for those hopes.