TOWN OF UNION (WBNG) - The Maine-Endwell Spartans claimed six straight Section IV football titles before falling in the Class B playoffs in 2016.
The team that ended that season, the Windsor Black Knights, the Spartans opponent Saturday in 12 Sports' Game of the Week. With only three weeks left in the regular season for Class B teams, the outcome could go a long way in determining whether the Spartans have a home playoff game this season.
"We thought we weren't young," said Maine-Endwell head coach Matt Gallagher. "But, we look at everything and we are, we're young. But, these guys are willing to work, willing to listen, willing to be coached."
"I feel we are getting better day-by-day," said Maine-Endwell junior lineman Greg Davis.
"Everything is coming together," said Maine-Endwell junior lineman AJ DeSantis. "Our line, we're working a lot better. Our backs are blocking. Our line is blocking. Everybody is making their reads."
"Them just coming together as a group, is going to hopefully pay dividends down the road," said Gallagher.
The Spartans started to reap some of those rewards last week when they put up 41 points in their victory against Waverly.
"We just worked hard throughout practice all week," said DeSantis. "We really put (the time) in. We put in the work, so that when the game comes, our offense would start clicking. Everything would start moving. We threw well, just everything clicked."
M-E hopes its defense is clicking Saturday when it faces Windsor, led by running back Dante Kimbrough.
"He's big and he's good," said Gallagher. "They are going to come and they going to be physical."
"We are all just going to have to stick to our assignments and we're going to have to play tough ball," said Davis.
Saturday is also Homecoming weekend for the Spartans.
"Everybody comes in as one community and it's just great," said DeSantis. "A lot of people. Everybody knows what's going on. The community comes and loves to watch the football game."
Between avenging last year's playoff loss, and all the playoff implications for this season, there's plenty at stake Saturday afternoon.
"Last year didn't end the way we wanted to, and we want to come back strong this week," said Davis.
"We really want that home field advantage for us," said DeSantis.
"I think that's the beauty of this year," said Gallagher. "The fact that all the B's are playing each other. At the same time, it's tough because every week is a grind. Every week is a tough one, and at the same time, every week matters."
Maine-Endwell hosts Windsor Saturday at 1:30 PM.