ELMIRA - The Express will have their work cut out for them this weekend as the newly-crowned section IV champions travel to Union-Endicott for a matchup with Section III winner Cicero-North Syracuse on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the regional round of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Cicero-North Syracuse topped Baldwinsville 56-21 in its sectional championship game. The Northstars are a perfect 10-0 on the season and are considered by many as the best team in New York State.

The Express will have to slow down an offense that has averaged a staggering 52.5 points per game this season while only allowing opponents to score 10.7 points per game.

The Northstars are led by running back Erik Pride, who has rushed for 1,738 yards this season and has 29 rushing touchdowns while adding six receptions for 188 yards and a score.

“He’s very key to our offense,” Cicero head coach David Cline said. “He is very versatile. He can run the ball, catch the ball and block.

Connor Hayes is under center for the Northstars and has thrown for 1,692 yards and 20 touchdowns this season with only one interception, completing 72 percent of his passes.

Lukas Merluzzi leads Cicero-North Syracuse in receiving with 666 yards and eight touchdowns and Shy’rel Broadwater had chipped in 473 yards and six touchdowns.

Cicero-North Syracuse has only faced one Section IV team this season, blanking Horseheads 62-0.

“It all comes down to execution,” Elmira head coach James McCauley said. “They have athletes all over the field, they’ve shown they can score on the run and put points up in the air. It's going to have to be a total team effort. Not only for the defense, but the special teams as well.”

Elmira edged Binghamton last week 38-31 and hasn’t looked to change anything this week in practice in preparation for the state quarterfinals.

“We have our system and our routine that we get into as we prepare for teams,” McCauley said. “We tweak it as it needs to be, but we go through our same routine and breakdown of how we attack certain things.”

Offensively, Elmira figures to split carries between both dynamic running backs Charlie Mahon and Airihk Ashley.

Ashley rushed for 253 yards and two touchdowns last week against Binghamton and Mahon added three touchdowns.

“I think it goes with our three beliefs, running the football, stopping the run on defense and win the turnovers,” McCauley said. “If we do that, we feel like we can control clock, control tempo and control the pace of the game.”