The Alden Bulldogs have been no stranger to the top of the standings in Class B the last two years.
The returning Sectional champions return three-year quarterback Brian Stoldt.
Meanwhile, Dunkirk is trying to rebound from another losing season as it went 3-5 in 2012.
Dunkirk coach?Tim?Majka returns for his second stint at the helm of the Marauders. His team travels to Alden tonight for a Class B?South clash.
After a one-year absence, Tim Majka returns as head coach of the Marauders and is ready to take his team to Alden for an early-season test.
"It feels new, but comfortable at the same time," Majka said about being back on the sidelines. "It's great to be back and in the swing of things. It's hard to believe I wasn't doing this last year. What I mean by comfortable is I don't feel like I missed a step. Every year is exciting. If you're not excited, there is no sense in doing it."
Alden will be no easy task as they have big, tall receivers for Stoldt to throw to. Offensively, the Bulldogs have a power running back, will spread out four receivers out of the shotgun formation and show different looks offensively.
Tonight's High?School Football?Schedule
CVCS at Ellicottville
Portville at MG-CL
Dunkirk at Alden
Fredonia at Silver Creek
SW at Gowanda
Frewsburg at Pine Valley
Westfield at Randolph
"They are a formidable opponent to start off the year," Majka said.
Despite the daunting task of playing Alden, Majka is excited as his players have shown a lot of progress and promise since the first day of practice.
"I like the focus all the guys have had all offseason and through the preseason. We were physical in our scrimmage. Our offensive line, and on defense, we have some strong linebackers and defensive ends. We will be tough on the edges. Overall, the focus of the team and our physicality is our two biggest things that will carry us through. As a team, we get to the ball and get there fast and hard. The guys really play well together as a unit. That's one of the things that stands out to me."
The Marauders' strength will be middle linebackers Nate Skubis and Nate Bomasuto, as well as outside linebackers Juliam Fred and Tristen Peck. Another strength will be defensive ends Willie Ray and Lucas Lugan.
"They give us a solid base," Majka said. "We do have some size on the line as well. It's been a pleasant surprise to have guys like that there. They are working together so well as a unit. The guys have put in time and working with coach Bob Palcic has done a lot for us with all the knowledge he has. The kids have been eating it up what he has to say. I'm excited to see everything put together at game speed and all the situations we will get into. I think it will be a lot of fun and we are ready to go."
Offensively, Josh Goodwin will be calling the plays in the huddle for Dunkirk. This is his first varsity season, following a stellar season the jayvee level in 2012.
"It's been a tough stretch to find a tall prototypical quarterback in Dunkirk," Majka continued. "We have all the confidence in Josh. He is taking on everything we have thrown at him and he has complete command of our offense. He is only a junior, but the guys have faith in him and the coaching staff does too. We have our guy for hopefully two years. I fully believe Josh is ready to handle varsity football.
"I think if we execute our gameplan, we will be OK," Majka concluded. "We can move guys around and get them in position where we can be successful. It's all going to be a matter of it being an adjustment game. We will see what they are doing. Whoever makes better adjustments will win. We have our hands full, but we are prepared for their run and passing."