DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. - The Dobbs Ferry and Woodlands football teams will play what may be a preview of a Section 1 Class C playoff game when they meet at Gould Park in Dobbs Ferry Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The visiting Falcons (5-0) have not lost a game since they watched their playoff hopes die in a blinding snow storm last October in the Class C semifinal at Gould Park, so Saturday's visit will touch some very chilly nerves and memories.
"We thought we could beat them last year and then we played in all that snow and lost," Woodlands quarterback Justin Riccio said following a victory over Hastings two weeks ago. "We have to be at our best this time."
The Eagles (4-1), who went on from the Woodlands win to claim the Class C state title, were on a 13-game winning streak until they ran into a tough Tuckahoe team two weeks ago and suffered their only loss. Dobbs Ferry rebounded to top Hastings 43-19 last Friday night.
"We want to run the ball and not give (Woodlands) too much room for their offense," Soave said. "We're going to have to play better on defense against them."
Riccio leads the Falcons offense that features speed and a balance of rushing and passing with running back Tyrone Barber and receiver Dylan Eddy as big play makers.
The Eagles rely almost exclusively on a rushing attack with big back Tim Soave, Brian Gardner, Chris Addorisio and freshman Jibril Kapadia all capable runners.
Woodlands are outscoring opponents by an average of 40-14 per game and Dobbs is averaging 29 while allowing 19.
The Falcons are favored to win this matchup on the strength of their first five wins, but this rivalry will be decided on which team can limit mistakes. Woodlands and Dobbs can both move the ball and each has not played their best defense this year.
Absent a freak snow storm like last October's playoff blizzard, this game should be high scoring and may lead to another meeting later in the month.