By PAUL WAGER
JOHNSTOWN — Though it remains one of the longest running rivalries in Section II, the Johnstown-Gloversville football game has lost some of its luster in recent years.
Scheduling issues have caused the game to go from an annual staple to a rarity.
Friday’s Week 0 meeting marks just the sixth time that the Sir Bills and Huskies have faced one another on the football field since 2006.
Though the matchup has happened rarely in recent years, both coaches are looking forward to Friday’s contest at Knox Field.
“It’s going to be a great game between rivals to start the season,” Gloversville coach Jim Robare said. “It’s always a rivalry game. Their community is great and our community is great. It will be nice to get back together and back to somewhat of normalcy. I can’t wait.”
First-year Johnstown coach Paul Furman agreed.
“It’s important to the two communities,” said Furman, who served as an assistant at Johnstown in the “Fall II” season back in March and April and has taken over for Tyler Hall. “When I looked at our options for that weekend I was weighing rivalry game or scrimmage. I started looking into the history of this game and thought it would be a great opportunity to get it going again.”
Friday’s game will mark the first time that both Robare and Furman have coached in a Gloversville-Johnstown game.
The Sir Bills went 2-3 during the Fall II season in March and April, while Gloversville was able to play just three games due to COVID protocols and quarantines, going 0-3.
It will be the 92nd meeting between Gloversville and Johnstown, a series that dates back to 1924. The Huskies lead the all-time series 44-40-7. The teams haven’t met since 2018, which saw the Sir Bills post a 35-27 win at Gloversville.
The teams have split their last four meetings.
The Huskies won in 2017 at Gloversville by an identical 35-27 margin and also posted a 9-7 win at Knox Field in 2016, which was the last time the game was played in Johnstown. In 2015, Johnstown notched a 20-0 win at Gloversville.
Knox Field has hosted the Gloversville-Johnstown game just twice since 2011 before tonight’s contest. In the 2011 meeting, Gloversville posted an 84-13 win — the largest margin of victory in the series.
Instead of taking part in a traditional first weekend scrimmage, both Gloversville and Johnstown opted to play a Week 0 game. The Week 0 format allows teams to schedule what amounts to a preseason game rather than taking part in a scrimmage on the first weekend of the season.
“We’re geared up and ready to go,” Robare said.