AVERILL PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Out in Section II, Class A, both the La Salle and Averill Park football teams sit undefeated at 3-0 in league play. The two Capital Division foes square off Friday night in NEWS10‘s 1st & 10 “Game of the Week,” and this one has major playoff implications.

Both sides have overcome slow starts to put themselves in prime opportunity to reach sectionals. The Cadets lost their first two games of the season, and have since rattled off five straight victories. The Warriors were 1-2 after their first three outings, but have posted a 3-1 mark in their four ensuing contests.

The winner takes sole possession of first place in the division, and has an inside track to earning a postseason bid.

One interesting note to make: La Salle has not beaten Averill Park in the five years Cadets head coach John Audino has been at the helm of the program.

Last year’s matchup in Troy, N.Y., came down to the wire, with the Warriors pulling out a 21-20 victory on a controversial extra point that left Audino heated after the game. He believed Averill Park’s kicker missed the go-ahead PAT, but the officials ruled the kick as good.

Audino recognizes the magnitude of this year’s battle, but he also understands there’s still some significant football to be played beyond Friday’s game.

“We have a chance to control our own destiny, and if we play eight good quarters of football – four this week, and four the next – we should be in good shape,” said Audino. “But we have a long way to go; we have a lot of improvement. We’ve gotta crank it up this week. We know we’re going up against a real formidable opponent.”

Warriors head coach Zachary Gobel spoke to the importance of his team controlling its’ destiny at a critical juncture in the season, and knows a win this week will not come easy against a red-hot Cadets unit.

“We know from last year that a quarter point here, or there, is gonna make the difference between someone getting in, and getting (left) out,” said Gobel. “It’s always an excellent game when we play La Salle. It doesn’t really matter very much who’s where, who’s what. They’re a cross-the-street rival for us, and it’s just a great game.”

La Salle and Averill Park kick off in Averill Park at 7:00 p.m. Tune in to 1st & 10 Friday night for a full breakdown of our “Game of the Week,” as well as an in-depth look around Section II.