Before the 2013 high school football season began, coaches in Class C South were asked who the top teams were in the league.
Every coach was quick to respond Salamanca and Fredonia.
Tonight, the two teams square off in the Orange Bowl in a divisional showdown for first place at 7:30 p.m.
Both the Fredonia Hillbillies and?Dunkirk Marauders will compete in their first home game of the high school football season tonight. Fredonia hosts Salamanca in a battle of Class C?South powerhouses while Dunkirk looks for its first win against Pioneer.
"Silver Creek and Falconer didn't have the size Salamanca has," Fredonia coach Mike Marshall said. "(Salamanca) won C South last year. We expect it to be a tough game. Salamanca will be the team to beat in this class."
Fredonia is known for their speed while the Warriors have size. With a chance of rain in the forecast, the Orange Bowl may not be too favorable for the hometown Hillbillies.
"It's going to be tough, especially on our field if the conditions get wet,"?Marshall said.
With Salamanca's size possibly being able to shut down Fredonia's run game, Marshall noted the Hillbillies may try to use an aerial attack with a passing game. However, if the weather is a hindrance, that may put a wrinkle into Marshall's plan.
Fredonia will also be using Jon Piper at quarterback for the first time this season and Marshall noted Piper brings a different dynamic to the position, usually occupied by Weston Ley.
"We have had a week to prepare for (Piper taking snaps at quarterback) and he is doing a good job with that," Marshall noted. "He doesn't have the quickness or agility Weston has, but he has a better feel for the game and will be able to read the defenses a little better."
Cam Voss will also be moving to the slot receiver position this weekend and Marshall is looking for Piper, Voss and a few other players to play key roles tonight.
"I am looking for John Piper to step in at quarterback and do a good job there, along with Matt McCarthy, Cody Smith and Cam Voss. We are moving Cam to the slot to see what he can do from that position. Those are people I am looking for to step up."
The Hillbillies have outscored their opponents, 97-14, in this young season, and what has impressed Marshall the most is his team's attention to detail.
"They stay focused and are sticking to fundamentals," he said. "That's what's giving us the edge. We aren't playing sloppy. We don't fumble a lot. We are a sure-tackling team, which helps. Our boys are playing with great enthusiasm."
The speedy Hillbillies will need that enthusiasm and discipline against the strength and size of the Warriors tonight.