When Dover's football players gathered with their new head coach, Eric Lam, last spring, the players wrote down goals for the 2013 season.
"No. 1 was win the division title," quarterback Logan Ambrose said during practice on Tuesday. "No. 2 was win a game in districts, and No. 3 was have a much better record than .500."
Barring a late-season slump, the players have pretty much taken care of goal No. 3.
No. 2 won't be determined for at least a couple of weeks, and No. 1 will depend in large part on what happens on Friday night, when New Oxford travels to Dover. The Colonials and Eagles will enter the game tied for first place in York-Adams Division II with matching 3-0 league records and 6-2 overall marks.
"We've been thinking this should be the game," Ambrose said. "It's Senior Night, and the crowd is great here. The fans get into the game."
New Oxford and Dover share records and school colors (Dover's colors are red and white, and New Oxford's are red, white and blue), and both feature run-heavy offenses which operate out of a Wing-T set.
Dover has rushed for 2,370 yards and passed for 432 yards, and New Oxford has gained 2,049 yards on the ground and 721 in the air.
The Colonials' Wes Beans is the league's second-leading rusher with 1,136 yards. Aaron Zinneman complements Beans with 576 yards.
Dover's Isaiah Green has racked up 802 yards. Three other Eagles, Dorran Ledbetter, Ambrose and Jake McLean, have combined for 1,237 yards.
"Beans is a heck of a running back, and the other guys complement him and do the job well," Dover head coach Eric Lam said. "We've seen them (New Oxford) on film, and they do some things to keep opponents off balance."
Lam was a head coach for two seasons at Dallastown before taking over the Eagles' program. He credits the players' preparation and belief in each other for the team's success.
"We (Lam and his assistants) told the kids 'it's not what we do, but how we do it,'" he said. "So whether we run the Wing T or the I, if we're able to execute it, we can be successful. Week in, week out, the kids do the best job to prepare for each game."
A victory in this week's game will enable the Eagles to clinch at least a share of Dover's second football title in three years. Dover shared the 2011 Division II crown with West York and Northeastern.
The 16 seniors on this year's team are aiming to close their careers by helping to earn the Eagles' second championship in three seasons.
"Winning the division will mean a lot to me and all the seniors," Dover offensive lineman and linebacker Cameron Beckman said. "That's one of our biggest goals."
Beckman knows what it feels like to win a title. He played on the 2011 team which captured Dover's first-ever football crown.
"We had a lot of seniors that year (19) which is similar to this year," Beckman said. "We had to rebuild last year after losing all those seniors, but we're back this year."
Dover and New Oxford have one common crossover opponent from Division I: Dallastown. The Eagles lost to the Wildcats, 19-17, and the Colonials bowed to the Wildcats, 34-17.
"We had two tough weeks," Ambrose said. (Dover lost to Central York, 41-27, the week following the Dallastown game.) "But after that game with Dallastown, we thought, 'yeah, we can play against good teams.'"
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin email@example.com.