Given how young it is, and how tough the competition has been in its move to the Class A ranks, the Oneida football team has to be pleased that, in the final week of the regular season, it has an opportunity to reach the playoffs.
All of it rides on Friday night's game between the Indians and Carthage Comets, to be played in the north country at 7 p.m.
As it stands right now, Whitesboro, New Hartford and Nottingham have all secured playoff berths from the Class A National division. Only the top four teams advance. Oneida and Carthage are tied for fourth with 2-3 league marks.
The winner goes to the post-season, likely to a first-round game against East Syracuse-Minoa, while the loser gets stuck with crossover games.
Oneida had a chance to avert this fate at home last Friday night, but state-ranked Whitesboro proved to be far too tough, staying in first place in the division with a 38-8 win over the Indians.
Dominating most of the way, Whitesboro built a 38-0 lead before Ryan Kramer's nine-yard touchdown pass to Dale Ano in the fourth quarter broke up the shutout.
Though Warrior quarterback Ryan Schmidt threw a 60-yard TD pass to Drake Woodard, the team did most of its damage on the ground, running for 319 yards. Antoine Porter scored on a pair of 11-yard scampers.
That win helped set up a showdown for the Class A National division title between Whitesboro and its biggest rival, New Hartford.