If you’re a fan of football without any particular allegiance, tonight’s Class C clash between two state-ranked teams, number 12-ranked Chenango Forks at number six Greene is the game to attend.
Outside of Maine-Endwell, no teams in Section IV have thoroughly dominated the opposition as much as the Trojans and Blue Devils. Forks, always a contender, and Greene, a program among the best in Class C the past seven years, meet tonight in what could be a preview of the Section IV finals six weeks down the road.
On offense, the Blue Devils are averaging over 40 points per game and have scored exactly two more points than Greene. On the flip side, the Trojans have allowed just 16 points in three games, again two points south of the Devils’ total. Neither club has had much trouble scoring, while their respective defenses are nearly impenetrable to this point. Something has got to give, don’t you think?
“We laid out all the facts to our team: This is what they’ve done, and this is what we’ve done,” said Greene coach Tim Paske, whose club beat Chenango Forks, 21-0, a season ago. It was the first win for Greene over the Blue Devils since 1983. “It will come down to the trenches, and who does a better job with that.”
Chenango Forks has a formidable front line led by Jack Barnett, who tips the scales in the 275-pound range. Across the line, the Blue Devils have nearly the equivalent size of Greene, who have overwhelmed opposing fronts so far.
“Chenango Forks has definitely looked good so far, and they’ve already rushed for over 1,000 yards as a team,” Paske said. “They know what to do with the football.”
Typically, Forks spreads the ball out to a number of ballcarriers. From what we’ve pinpointed, fullback Isaiah Zimmer will get a fair share of the carries early on, and quarterback D.J. Sweeney is coming off a rushing 100-yard game. Sweeney is another signal-caller in a long line at Chenango Forks to effectively run the option-based attack. Jacob Green, one of last year’s key runners, also returns to the backfield.
Greene, itself, is coming off its best game running the ball. At rain-soaked Dryden, the Trojans gained nearly 400 yards rushing with Mike Beckwith and Dan Treadwell each topping 100 yards. Paske is at least four or five deep in the backfield, and to emphasize that point, backup Joel Roselle has a team-high four touchdown runs in spot duty.