Why not this week?
That was the message Dunkirk coach Tim Majka gave to his players this week leading up to tonight's Class B South high school football game against Depew.
Sure, the Dunkirk Marauders are off to an 0-4 start to the season while the Depew Wildcats are 3-1 on the season. But Makja is hoping the fact it's homecoming week and the positive signs his team has shown over the past couple weeks can result in a win.
Dunkirk’s Rashad Graham (18) will look to duplicate his Week 4 performance tonight as the Marauders take on Class B South foe Depew at Karl Hoeppner Field.
"It's homecoming and the seniors get extra motivated for that week and that game," Majka said. "A lot of times I have experienced kids putting on a special performance on homecoming week."
One of the bright spots from last week's loss to Olean was the emergence of running back Rashad Graham, who rushed for 147 yards on 23 carries. He will be called upon, as well as Nick Barlette, to carry the running game. The Marauders rushed for 260 yards total last week.
"Graham had a breakout game and I think him and Barlette in the backfield are going to be something to watch the rest of the season," Majka said. "It really is a matter of the backs starting to get a feel for what zone scheme is. Rashad is a little different runner than Barlette. He took full advantage of the cutback lanes Friday night. Rashad used it to his advantage a bit more."
Gage Austin will be the leader in the huddle again this week for the Marauders and with another full week of taking reps with the first team, Majka is hoping the passing game will take a step forward.
"He did a good job at quarterback, Majka noted. "He was right on the money with balls that could have been completions. Gage is really calm under fire. He came right in and the guys gave him all the respect in the world in the huddle. He comes to the sidelines telling us what he sees and is really coachable which helps at that position. He does have good football IQ."
The Wildcats are a skilled team, according to Majka. They have big, strong running back and use multiple sets. In Dunkirk's favor is the way its defense has performed all year.
"I love the way our defense has played all year," Majka said. "It would be nice to create a few turnovers (tonight)."