September 19, 2006

Sprint Football Steps Onto Center Stage at Bowl Game

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When it comes to the slate of collegiate bowl games, sprint football’s Adirondack Allegiance Bowl isn’t one that registers on most people’s radar screen. This may be because it takes place in Saratoga, N.Y. — far away from the college football hotbeds in the South and Midwest — and occurs during the beginning of September and not the maddening weeks at the end of December and beginning of January when the whole nation wonders which of the nation’s top teams will be done in by the dreaded BCS process. Yet, despite the additional fact that none of the game’s competitors may weigh over 172 lbs, to some it can replicate the feeling of playing in one of those prestigious New Year’s games.
[img_assist|nid=18380|title=Hands off.|desc=Senior running back Mike Fullowan (23) looks to find a hole for during a game last season for Cornell. (Joe Bellucci / Sun Senior Photographer)|link=popup|align=left|width=86|height=100]
“It was the best experience of my career so far,” said senior captain Mike Fullowan. “It was such an exciting and different atmosphere that it almost felt like an actual bowl game.”

After having attempted to secure the game since 1999 — the idea was rejected due to scheduling conflicts — the Allegiance Bowl Committee finally arranged to for the city of Saratoga to host a match-up between Princeton and Army last season in which the Black Knights emerged victorious by a comfortable 77-0.

This year, the Quakers traveled to upstate New York to meet the Red for the 84th time in each team’s respective history. The teams arrived in Saratoga on Friday afternoon where they were met with a warm reception that included a banquet that night.

Before the game’s 1 p.m. start time, the two sides were treated to a show from the Amsterdam High School marching band that helped give the game a festive air that is lacking from many collegiate encounters. Additionally, because the game was played to benefit Saratoga Pop Warner football, the crowd was laden with kids who were eager to help on the sidelines in any way possible.

“The kids really idolize you,” Fullowan said. “They were running up and down the sidelines offering us water and were practically killing themselves to be ball-boys.”

With their new admirers contributing to the 600-plus fans in the stands, the Red did not disappoint by putting in a solid effort on each side of the ball and coming away with a 20-12 win.

Unfortunately for the Red, its next game will not be played in front of such adoring spectators, as it will travel to Princeton where it looks to continue its dominance over the Tigers. Cornell defeated Princeton 33-13 last season and leads the overall series, 50-27-4.