Sterling has beaten Streator 9 years in a row. The average score in those games: Sterling 37, Streator 8.
Sterling is 3-2, with its losses coming to powerhouses Kaneland and Rochelle. Streator is 0-5 and has just one win over the last four seasons.
All that means little to the Golden Warriors, who visit the Bulldogs tonight.
"I don't know if we're good enough to overlook anybody," Sterling coach Jon Schlemmer said.
"Even though they're 0-5, they're a hard-running team," Sterling junior receiver/defensive back Logan Cheshire said. "They can catch you off-guard. Anything can happen. We still have to play hard. We can't take anything for granted."
The Warriors need only harken back to last year's Week 6 meeting with the Bulldogs to know they could be in for a dogfight.
Last season, Sterling led Streator 20-15 midway through the third quarter before putting away a 34-15 win.
"We think of them the same as most teams," Sterling senior outside linebacker and special teams standout Tre Gallegos said. "We're beatable, and Streator is pretty good. They're record may not show it, but they do a lot of good things. We can't let them hang around, or we'll have a game like last year, and we don't want that."
Cheshire has seen his role expand greatly in recent weeks, following Ty Shetter's Week 2 concussion and Logan Wharff's team violation that will see him miss a third straight game.
Cheshire moved from cornerback to safety to fill Wharff's spot, and has been at flanker with Shetter and Wharff sidelined.
"I usually only play defense and special teams, but now I'm pretty much in the whole game," he said. "I don't get a break, but it's nice. I had to step up. Those are big shoes to fill. Getting reps as a junior is a good thing for next year."
The Warriors opened the season with wins over Metamora and Johnsburg before suffering lopsided defeats to Kaneland and Rochelle. They bounced back with a 21-10 win over LaSalle-Peru to open Northern Illinois Big 12 play last week.
"It was a big win," Schlemmer said. "A win is a win is a win. It doesn't matter how you get it, but there's things we can definitely do better. We didn't make some plays, and we didn't take care of the ball at all. I can't imagine winning again and turning the ball over four times."
While Wharff is still not available, this week marks the return of Shetter and linebacker Willy McCormick, who has not played since tearing an ACL in Week 7 last year.
When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Streator High School
Radio: 94.3 FM