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Football season finale brings rival game between Maine-Endwell and Chenango Forks

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(WBNG) -- Thanks to a mid-season schedule change, the final Saturday of the Section IV football season will bring a battle between two undefeated teams, Chenango Forks and Maine-Endwell.

Both teams enter week six with 5-0 records and looking to end the shortened season undefeated.

The game was added midway through the season. With Forks originally scheduled to play Binghamton and Maine-Endwell to visit Norwich, the four coaches agreed to the switch.

"Coach (Dave) Hogan and I figured we could try to set it up. It seems to be a rivalry that we're trying to play every year. We think it's great for both teams, great for the section," said Maine-Endwell head coach Matt Gallagher.

The Blue Devils and Spartans met twice during the 2019 season. The regular-season game resulted in a 7-6 Forks win.

The second time the rivals were playing for a trip to states. Forks came out of the section title game with a 28-12 victory over the Spartans.

Coach Hogan and coach Gallagher said they expect Saturday to bring a competitive game.

"Forks is Forks, they're obviously well-coached," said Gallagher. "Both teams respect each other and they respect the game."

"We know we're going to have our hands full," said Hogan. "This is our biggest battle of the year without a doubt."

Forks is outscoring opponents 202-15. They've won four games in shutout fashion, with those 15 points coming from Norwich.

As for Maine-Endwell, the Spartans are averaging over 50 points per game, racking up 252 points through five games.

Hogan said Maine-Endwell's biggest threat is their foot speed.

"They have big strong kids too, up front," said Hogan. "They're scary on offense and defense, their quarterback is very very quick."

Coach Gallagher said he expects the game to be "a typical M-E/Forks game."

"If we kind of bend and don't break, hopefully, some turnovers on downs happen and some things go our way," he said. "I think it's going to be a game of turnovers so if we hold onto the ball and get a couple from them, we like our chances."

On top of the history between the two programs, this is the final football game for seniors.

"We get to play our last high school game ever here at Chenango Forks wearing the red helmet," said Forks senior Lucas Scott. "So very bittersweet but we're all really excited to go out there and show them what Forks is about."

"It's definitely hitting hard," said Maine-Endwell senior Lance Gulliver. "Going into their house it's definitely going to have a way different emotion especially for us seniors, it's our last game so we're going to leave it all out on the field for sure."

For both teams, ending with a 6-0 record is as close to a state title as they can get.

"We were saying since week one, week two we wanted to play M-E," said Scott. "Only way we'd want to go out besides a state title, which we don't get that so it's exciting for sure."

"Staying together, keeping our composure," said Gulliver. "It's obviously going to be a tough game so as long as we go in there as a team and end as a team, we're going to come out on top."

Game time Saturday at Chenango Forks is set for 1:30 p.m.

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Nicole Menner

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