TOWN OF CHENANGO (WBNG) - Since the turn of the century Chenango Forks football has won 15 Section IV Titles and five state championships. For a program built on a tradition of winning, it's a loss that is fueling Chenango Forks' quest for a sixth state championship.
"We all have (the state title loss to Glens Falls) buried in the back of our minds, what happened," said Chenango Forks senior guard/defensive tackle Tiernen Joseph. "Over there on the wall is a picture of the final huddle we took as Tim McDonald told us to remember the feeling, remember what it's like, and that hasn't left. So, (it's) definitely motivation."
There was no state championship game hangover for Chenango Forks this season. 10 games, all victories, outscoring its opponents 376 to 65.
"We rely on one another," said Chenango Forks senior offensive and defensive lineman Josh Gould.
Those ten wins includes jumping out to a 42-nothing first half lead on Saturday en route to its sixth straight Section IV title.
"Coach says it a lot, peaking at the right time," said Joseph. "There's definitely some truth to that. We've got guys stepping it up all together at the right time."
Now entering the state playoffs, Chenango Forks can rely on its experience to guide the way.
"We've learned, especially last year, that you can't underestimate anybody," said Gould. "Everybody has to be taken like they are better than us and they could be."
"I think a lot of guys have been up there, been in the situations," said Joseph. "A lot of us were there in the state game last year so we know how it works."
It won't be an easy road back to the state championship game for Forks. Its regional opponent, third ranked and undefeated Homer.
"They are a big team," said Chenango Forks senior offensive and defensive lineman Shawn Orton. "They are fast, so are we. So, just gotta keep our heads and play our game."
"They expect to play 48 minutes, as do we," said Gould. "And they expect to run the ball, I believe, so it's going to be a good game."
Running the rock will be key for the Blue Devils as well with a big and physical offensive line blocking for a talented running back in Jeremiah Allen.
"He's definitely a great guy to block for because he is very humble about it," said Joseph. "He's chasing the record of L.J., but incredibly humble, he won't say it's him. He'll say it's the line. He'll say it's everyone else around him that's getting him there."
Forks nation hopes the special relationship between Allen and his offensive line can help the Blue Devils play deep into November.
Kickoff between Homer and Chenango Forks is set for 3 p.m. Saturday at Union-Endicott High School.