GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Gouverneur football team hopes to give defending state champion Susquehanna Valley reason to fear the "G" when the teams meet for the Class C state title Friday.
The Wildcats are in a position they have never been before in the program's history: playing for a state football championship.
“Definitely a new territory for us, making the final four was brand new, certainly making the championship game is uncharted territory -- we’re really excited about it,” coach Sean Devlin said. “Coming back into town the other night, there was probably 2 to 3 thousand people lined up at 8:30 on Main Street looking for us to come home.”
"I think we always set expectations high, this year we kind of exceeded what we were going for, which is winning Section X, and we kept on going," lineman Daniel Hall said. "Really happy for us, pretty much."
The farther you go in the postseason, the talent level of the opposition goes up.
"Yes, everything at this level is much faster and bigger and stronger -- we can't reel off 50 points a game like we did during the season," Devlin said. "It's more methodical and field position becomes very important, defense obviously is huge, who can get the one stop and the one turnover can help decide the game, in which we've seen that."
The Wildcats face the defending state champions in Class C, Susquehanna Valley. The team knows it has its work cut out for it.
"They are a run-heavy team, which I think is good for us because we see mostly the run up here," quarterback Caleb Farr said. "I think if we're able to slow that down, it will help a lot."
"We know number 1 is fast, he's going to hit hard, he's not going to try and juke as much, he's going to try and run us over, but we will stop him," receiver and linebacker Mitchell Shippee said. "Number 5 fullback is big, he'll be hard to take down."
"We just have to go into every game knowing that we're the underdogs and we have nothing to lose -- pretty much go as hard as we can all the time," Hall said. "We know that they're good and we're good -- it's going to be a really good game."
"We have a few films on them -- they're very good, very dynamic -- they spread you out and try to throw the ball, then they do power football against you," Devlin said. "We're going to have to be prepared for both. They're very even, very dynamic, they run the ball very well, they can throw the ball efficiently when they need to, they're physical, they are not bigger than we are, they are the defending Class C state champions -- they've been there before, but we're excited to give it a shot."
Gouverneur and Susquehanna Valley meet at 6 p.m. Friday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.