CORNING - A win this week for the Hawks (3-1) against the rival Blue Raiders would surpass their win total from last season and give them a fourth-straight victory as Corning travels to Horseheads Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The Blue Raiders currently stand at 2-2 after snapping a two-game losing streak with a 42-0 win over Ithaca -- but with a rivalry like this anything can happen.

“Whenever you face a rival, you can throw out comparisons, win/loss records and common opponents,” Corning head coach George Bacalles said. “It’s about who wants it more on that day.”

The Hawks are coming off an impressive 45-28 win over Section IX’s FDR Hyde Park last week, where Corning scored on two special teams plays and made enough offensive plays to take home the victory. Big plays on special teams remain a key.

“[Our keys to victory are] win the turnover possession, win special teams by having a couple of big plays and stay on schedule on offense,” said Bacalles.

Corning’s passing game came down to earth a little bit last week with quarterback Joey Ott only throwing for 74 yards and a touchdown along with two interceptions after two straight weeks of throwing for over 300 yards. The focus in practice this week has been trying to move past a tough week.

“[We’re] fixing the passing game a little,” said Ott. “I threw those two interceptions, which I wasn’t happy about. So [we’re] just trying to getting back to what we did against Union-Endicott.”

Corning wide receiver Max Stansfield did contribute a receiving touchdown for the third-straight contest and will look to make it four in a row Friday.

The Blue Raiders saw the emergence of freshman Riley Loomis against the Little Red. Loomis netted 232 yards on 20 carries and will be a focal point of Corning’s defensive game plan along with other weapons in the running game like Henry Juan and Maurice Rankins.

“I think we’re focused on all of their weapons, not just Loomis,” Bacalles said. “He is a great player obviously, but it’s about forcing them to do things they don’t want to do and hopefully we'll be able to do that.”

Horseheads also has a capable quarterback in Grayson Woodhouse. Woodhouse completed five passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns last week in just one half -- including two 40-plus-yard passes to Matt Stasiw -- and has shown willingness to throw the ball.

“On defense, we have to play assignment football, tackle well and not give up the big play,” said Bacalles.
Corning and Horseheads will always be a rivalry for the players, with the contesting schools only 18 minutes apart. The Hawks have dominated the matchup since the East/West merger in 2010, sporting an 8-0 record against the Blue Raiders.

“Obviously we want to compete against this team,” said Ott. “There’s some history. We’re going in to Raiderville, we just want to come out with a victory. It’s a big game.”