CONKLIN, N.Y. – After winning their first section and state championships a season ago, the Susquehanna Valley football team is one more win away from accomplishing everything for a second-straight season.
“It’s pretty magical, you know, when you step out of that tunnel and you’re in the Carrier Dome. They’ve got you up on the jumbo screen as you’re running out of the tunnel. It’s just a great experience that I’m so happy the kids get to have. They’ll have it for the rest of their lives,” says Head Football Coach Mike Ford.
A year ago, the Susquehanna Valley Sabers captured the first state championship in the football program’s history.
Now, S.V. is a game away from a second-consecutive championship.
The Sabers will be facing Gouverneur of Section X Friday night inside the Carrier Dome in the Class C title game.
Senior left tackle Zach Lawrence and his teammates know they’ll be facing a tough opponent.
But, they also have a strong belief in themselves.
“We know they’re a good team. Obviously, they made it this far, just like we did. So, we’re not going to take them lightly. We know exactly what we have to do. we’ve been in the worst of situations we could be in. So, we know what we’ve got to do,” Senior LT Zach Lawrence said.
What the Sabers have to do is take care of business in all three phases of the game.
While he’s not too concerned about his offense, senior Trevor Frable thinks the S.V. defense is the big key to stop a run-happy Gouverneur offense.
“I think, definitely defense. I’m not really worried about our offense, I think we’ll do just fine. But, I think we need to stop the ball and give it to our offense so we can work,” Frable says.
While the success has carried over from last year, head coach Mike Ford can see the differences between the two squads.
“Honestly, they’re two completely different teams in the way they conduct themselves. Different kinds of kids, different personalities. But, when they’re on the field, the offense, defense, and special teams are the same process, the same program.”
One obvious similarity is the Sabers are playing the day after Thanksgiving for the second-straight year.
With that holiday in mind, I figured I’d find out what those three Sabers enjoy when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner with a game of Thanksgiving This or That.
“Turkey: light or dark meat?”
“I don’t really like turkey at all, to be honest. I mean, I eat the turkey anyways.I don’t really like it.”
“Cranberry sauce, canned or homemade?”
“Either is good, I go with the canned myself.”
“I don’t like cranberry sauce.”
“The better side, mashed potatoes or stuffing?”
“Hmm, mashed potatoes.”
“You’ve got to go with mashed potatoes.”
“Helpings: one or two plates?”
“Got to go for at least two.”
“Dessert: apple or pumpkin pie?”
“I like pumpkin. I’ve always loved pumpkin pie.”
“I guess I’d go with apple if you don’t have blueberry on the table.”
“Nap afterwards, yes or no?”
“Umm, after the football games.”
“Ehh, it depends on how I feel. Probably.”
While they may get their rest in after dinner Thursday, on Friday, you can guarantee these Sabers will be fired up when they take the field again inside the Carrier Dome.
S.V. and Gouverneur kick off Friday night at 6:00 pm.