NEWARK VALLEY (WBNG) - 12 Sports Game of the Week is a battle of number one ranked teams in New York State. The Sidney Warriors, the top dog in Class D visiting the Newark Valley Cardinals, the reigning, defending Class C New York State champions.
It's been a while since Newark Valley lost a football game. The Cardinals have won 19 straight dating back to the start of the 2016 season.
"I think some of the kids take a lot of pride in that," said Newark Valley head coach Ted Hardenstine.
"It's pretty special because everybody is looking up and trying to see how far we get," said Newark Valley senior quarterback/linebacker Collen Hills. "We want to go all the way, but we're trying to go one game at a time."
The Cardinals next test, the toughest this year, at home against the top ranked team in Class D, the Sidney Warriors.
"It's really who shows up to play," said Newark Valley junior offensive and defensive lineman Trentyn Rupert. "I know we have a good team and I know they have a good team. So, it's going to be a really good game."
"Great opportunity for both schools to play some excellent competition before we get going into the playoffs," said Hardenstine.
"It shows us where we're at," said Rupert. "Even if we win or come out with a loss, it shows where we're at. Where we need to work for further on in the season and come the playoffs."
Especially defensively against standout quarterback Darren Smith and the Warriors who are averaging 41 points per game.
"He's an excellent, excellent quarterback," said Hardenstine. "They have a talented group of receivers. The ball carriers in the backfield are very capable and their line does a nice job too. They are very well coached."
With 244 points scored this season, Newark Valley is one of the few teams that can match the Warriors' firepower on offense.
"We have some good running backs," said Hills. "We have some speed. We have a little bit of power, but the line really helps out, gets us where we need to go."
"Front line is good," said Rupert. "Our running backs are strong. We can switch from speed to power whenever we want. We can even pass the ball good."
Saturday afternoon, two teams will battle, but only one can stay unbeaten.
"It's pretty exciting," said Hills. "It should be great turnout with crowds and everything. Should be great competition. Should be a great game all-around."
Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Newark Valley High School where the Cardinals have not lost since 2015.