TOWN OF CONKLIN (WBNG) - Two ranked teams in Class B meet in 12 Sports' Game of the Week. Number two Chenango Forks hosting number 25 Susquehanna Valley in a rematch from week seven, a game the Blue Devils won 21-0, meaning the Sabers know exactly what's awaiting them Saturday afternoon.
"You can't start slow against Forks and expect to win," said Susquehanna Valley head coach Mike Ford.
"We have to play all four quarters," said Susquehanna Valley senior offensive lineman and defensive back Sean Kane.
"We got to see a lot of our weaknesses and strengths, and hopefully we can benefit moving forward from there," said Ford.
Coming off an opening round playoff victory against Owego, the Sabers are ready to take another shot at the defending Section IV Champions, Chenango Forks.
"A lot of your prep is fresh in your minds," said Ford. "If you play someone week one, then you see them at the end of the year, there are a lot of different preps, different offensive, defensive schemes. We can kind of go back to what we've been working on the past few weeks anyway."
The biggest adjustment the Sabers are trying to make, starting faster. Susquehanna Valley has been a second half team all season, including last Saturday when they scored 21-unanswered points to beat Owego.
"Trying to change up our routine a little bit this week," said Ford. "We've had a lot of motivational stuff, guys speaking up in practice, and come Saturday, we know that we can't not show up for four quarters. We have to come out the gates ready to go and give them a battle."
"We gotta keep up the speed and decrease mental mistakes," said Kane.
Only 21 total points were scored in the first game between SV and Forks, so expect another defensive battle on Saturday.
"I think we need to limit our mistakes," said Ford. "Hopefully force them into some mistakes. Turnovers are going to be key for either team."
Win or lose Saturday, six victories this season, being ranked in the state, plus a long awaited playoff victory gives SV football fans a reason to be fired up.
"I think the community is pretty excited in general," said Ford. "We've had great crowds at games. Hopefully we'll have a big attendance for the game on Saturday, We're going to do a 'white out', should be pretty good."
"Big for our school," said Susquehanna Valley junior running back/linebacker Billy Sheridan. "Means a lot for our program, shows that we're really growing up and doing good."
"Oh it's so good to put us back on the map," said Kane. "Just more and more to come."
Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Chenango Forks High School.