The Riverside Vikings' football team will find themselves in a very familiar role when the PIAA District 2 Class A playoffs kicks off on Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Vikings are the fourth seed in Class A and they will make the short trip to Old Forge to play the unbeaten Blue Devils. Old Forge is the top seed in Class A and ranked among the top Class A teams in the state.
Last year, the Vikings were also the fourth seed in Class A and had to travel to Dunmore to play the unbeaten highly-ranked Bucks, who were also the top seed in Class A.
Riverside pulled off the upset last year, stunning Dunmore by a score of 14-13 and they are hoping to do the same thing to Old Forge this year.
The first round win last year earned Riverside the chance to play for the Class A title, but Old Forge stood in their way. The Blue Devils dominated the title game and the Blue Devils won the PIAA District 2 Class A title with a 47-6 win.
The winner of Friday night's game will play the winner of the Lackawanna Trail at Dunmore game in the PIAA District 2 Class A title game next week and the chance to move on to the PIAA Class A state playoffs.
Riverside ended this season with a 6-4 record and at times had one of the most explosive offensive teams in the Lackawanna Football Conference. One of those four losses were at the hands of Old Forge.
"There were ups and downs, but the regular season is over, that is all history. The win loss record doesn't matter, everyone is 0-0 in the postseason and we have a one game season and we found that out last year," said Riverside football coach Evan Prall. "We were the fourth seed and came in and won a football game. That is what I told the kids right now. I don't care what happened over the last 10 weeks, right now we are going to focus in on Old Forge and that is our number one objective."
Old Forge has beaten Riverside easily in their last two meetings. Earlier in the season, the Blue Devils handed Riverside a 54-7 loss. Old Forgehas a strong running attack led by senior Brian Tomasetti, who has been racking up yards and touchdowns on his way to a spectacular senior season.
"We are going to make corrections. We are going to come out with a game plan that we feel is adequate," Prall said of having a second chance to play Old Forge. "We are going to try to stop Brian Tomasetti, he is a good running back. We are going to try to get some pressure on Brenden Whal, who is another very good player and we are going to see what happens for 48 minutes."
The Triboro rivals have been in the same Class A classification since 2008 and this will be the fourth time the two will face off in the post season since 2008.
In 2008 Riverside beat Old Forge in the PIAA District 2 Class A title game by a score of 48-21. In the first round of the 2009 Class A playoffs Riverside knocked off the Blue Devils by a score of 30-14. The two both made the playoffs in 2010, but didn't play in the playoffs. Last year Old Forge won the district title by beating Riverside 47-6.