HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – It’s one of the most anticipated games of the season.

Rivals Horseheads and Elmira are set to clash Friday night at Horseheads High School at 7 pm. Over 5,000 fans are expected for the Blue Raiders and Express playing on the gridiron. Horseheads is off to its best start since 1998 with a (4-0) record and they come into Friday ranked 11th in the state in the latest New York State Class A poll.

Elmira is off to a (1-2) start and has been without all-state running back Amir Williams who injured his leg on the opening drive against Liverpool in week one. The Express dropped a tough 45-8 loss at high-powered Waverly last week.

Horseheads cruised past Norwich 49-21 in their game on the road a week ago. Local football fans are geared up for this rival game come Friday night. Horseheads is looking for redemption after last year’s 50-26 loss at Elmira.

For the Blue Raiders, having the help of their hometown crowd will be a huge factor.

“We’ve been coming with good practices, it’s always fun and of course a lot of people will be here,” Horseheads senior defensive tackle Taliq Weigle said. “It should be a fun night, we’re confident going into it.”

Horseheads head coach Kevin Hillman says this game is ideal for the community.

“Anytime you get the chance to play your crosstown rival it just kind of amps everything up for the week,” Hillman said. “Both teams are pretty excited for it, I think you’re gonna have a great atmosphere here like the last few years.”

Hillman also says both teams create memories that will last a lifetime in a game like this. “Both sides will be well represented, crowds are usually great on both sides. I’m excited.”

You can watch full highlights of Elmira at Horseheads football Friday night at 11 on The 18 Sports Blitz.