When Dunkirk coach Tim Majka looks at the first five weeks of 2013 high school football schedule, he can't help but compare his team's schedule to that of a National Hockey League playoff schedule.
The Marauders start off the season with two home games before playing three straight road games. And though last week's 32-7 loss to Alden was not how he envisioned the season kicking off, he is still optimistic for the rest of the season.
"To be in the top four and to be in the picture for playoffs, it's going to take at least a 3-3 record," Majka said. "It's the hockey in a playoff series: Split the road games and win at home. If we can get a win (tonight), then we can take care of business at home the next three weeks."
In order to get that split, the Marauders must leave Springville with a victory tonight. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Like Dunkirk, Springville also lost its Week 1 game, 20-12, to Eden.
The key to victory for the Marauders will be the defense staying disciplined as Springville runs misdirection plays. When Springville runs the ball, they will start off running to one side, before cutting back and trying to go the other way.
Today's High?School?Football Schedule
Dunkirk at Springville
Fredonia at Frewsburg
Westfield-Brocton @ Portville
SC-Forestville @ Salamanca
JFK @ Gowanda
Cass. Valley @ Pine Valley
Nichols @ MG/CL
"We can't over-pursue," Majka said. "We have to play the angles and fill gaps. They want to create cutback lanes with options they run. If we play responsibly, we should be successful."
After watching the film from Week 1, Majka saw some positives and knows some of the things which went wrong are very correctable.
"It was a lot of little mistakes that add up when they happen in a play to make us not successful," he said. "They are all correctable. I think we are getting better every day. With the few games we play, every game you play gets more and more important. There were lots of positives, but it was still a league loss."
A few bright spots Majka did make note of was the special teams play of Seamus Raynor and Tim Cerrie, along with quarterback Josh Goodwin.
"They were in on every special teams tackle," Majka said. "They were surprises to me as far as personnel was concerned. I think we knew Josh Goodwin can play quarterback at the varsity level and he proved it. A lot of things last week were guys getting their first varsity game and getting varsity jitters out of the way."
When Majka was asked who needed to step up tonight, he responded, "Everybody."
"We preach no one person can win a football game," he said. "You have to have 11 guys going in the same direction, doing what you're supposed to do. You have to trust your teammates are doing their job and play within the scheme and within each play. I look for everyone to step up their play. We want to improve each week."
Notes: The Dunkirk vs. Fredonia game has been moved from Friday, Oct. 18 to Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. More information will be published about that game closer to the date.