TOWN OF CONKLIN (WBNG) - It's playoff time for Section IV football. In Class B this season, all eight teams made the playoffs creating some interesting rematches including Susquehanna Valley against Owego in 12 Sports' Game of the Week.
Susquehanna Valley enters the playoffs coming off a 21-0 loss to Chenango Forks. A game the Sabers are using as a measuring stick to learn from.
"You learn a lot (from a loss)," said Susquehanna Valley head coach Mike Ford. "You see the number two team in the state and where you need to be."
"We gotta learn to come out stronger in the first half," said Susquehanna Valley junior tight end/linebacker Daniel Matthews. "Not get down on ourselves. We have to stay positive the entire game."
"We need to come out in the first half as hard as we do in the second half, and not just come alive later in the game," said Susquehanna Valley senior offensive and defensive lineman Joshua Andrade. "We need band together and work hard and communicate."
That loss to Forks dropped SV to the fourth seed in Class B, setting up a rematch from the Sabers seven-point victory at Owego.
"(We) battled," said Ford. "It was a good football game for both teams. They are very physical. They are very big. We needed four quarters to do it."
"We just didn't get down on ourselves," said Matthews. "We had a lot of turnovers. It was a rainy game. We fumbled a few times, but stayed together and ended up finishing real well."
This time around, Susquehanna Valley will be the home team.
"It's great, especially for the seniors," said Ford. "To know they are going to have another game on their home field. We're getting turf next year, so it's the last game ever on the grass field. So it will be a special day."
Jarred Freije, Joe Hoskins, and a stingy Sabers defense allowing just 12 points per game has earned Susquehanna Valley a home playoff game, but they believe the strength of their team is its chemistry.
"Our brotherhood," said Andrade. "We're a family and we stick together through thick and thin."
These Sabers aren't ready for its season to end just yet.
"It's exciting," said Matthews. "It's my first varsity experience in the playoffs, so it should be fun."
"Smash someone in the face," said Andrade. "Take my anger out from Forks."
Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Susquehanna Valley High School. The winner takes on the winner of Chenango Forks and Chenango Valley in the Class B semifinals.