Marauders, Hillbillies, SC football in action tonight
Dunkirk (1-0) @Tonawanda (0-1)
TONAWANDA — The Dunkirk Marauders made a statement with the first win of the season last Friday, dismantling Eden/North Collins 58-14 at Dunkirk High School.
However, this week presents an entirely new challenge for the Marauders, who will travel to Tonawanda for Week 2 on Friday night. Dunkirk is not letting the Week 1 success get to the heads of the young Marauders this week.
“We definitely have to touch up on some things,” said Dunkirk head coach Mike Sarratori. “Our goal is to be the best we can be by the end of the season. … We were not disciplined enough (against Eden).”
As impressive as Dunkirk’s win was last week, what may have been the most impressive part was the Marauders’ 20-0 second half scoring total, while star running backs Quantavis Kleckley and Tywon Wright were resting on the bench.
“Our kids didn’t let up,” Sarratori said. “No matter what the score was.”
Last week, Dunkirk ran all over Eden/North Collins, tallying more than 300 yards rushing in the game. Sarratori does not expect this week to come as easily for the Marauders.
“Eden lined up in a defense we were able to take advantage of,” said Sarratori. “The best teams in the state will not present that to us. … We still need to improve a lot.”
Tonawanda is a team that will provide a lot of challenges for the Marauders. With talented athletes at the skill positions on offense, paired with an aggressive defense, Sarratori knows the Marauders will have a tough task in Week 2.
“(Tonawanda is) not overly big, but very aggressive. They love to hit,” said Sarratori. “They have some good athletes offensively at the skill positions,” he added, highlighting Noah Ray and Zach Braddell as key players to watch on both sides of the ball.
Though Sarratori characterized this week as a “huge challenge,” what may be the most challenging part is the trip itself.
“We’re going to be on a bus in high humidity and high heat for a long time,” said Sarratori. “We have to be physically and mentally prepred for that.”
In addition to mental focus pregame, Sarratori stressed that his defense needs to focus on tackling from its linebackers and containing the edge from its defensive ends.
After such a dominant game in the season opener, Kleckley will be the key player to watch for Dunkirk once again. After topping 150 yards on only six carries last week, expect a much larger workload this week from the standout running back.
Sarratori said Kleckley is one of the best backs in the state last week. This matchup will give the star running back a chance to prove his coach right once again.
Akron (1-0) @
Silver Creek/Forestville (0-1)
SILVER CREEK — The Black Knights football team will return to action tonight coming off a loss last week at the hands of Wilson by a score of 34-12. This week the Black Knights will face Akron in their home opener, with the Tigers coming off a victory over JFK, 21-14.
“The kids have practiced really well this week,” said Silver Creek/Forestville head coach Sean Helmer. “Conditions have been tough because of the heat, but the effort is always there.”
The Black Knights hung tough with Wilson through the first half of last weeks game, trailing only 14-12 at halftime, but 99 yards of penalties and the inability to run the ball effectively hurt them in the second half.
“We threw the ball well last week, but we didn’t run well or control the line of scrimmage at all,” said Helmer. “The good news is that we had a lot of mistakes that are correctable. We just have to restart this week.”
Silver Creek/Forestville’s passing game was led by new quarterback Austin Rott, who made his first varsity start and threw for 142 yards and two touchdowns. His leading receivers will also look to have big weeks as Macadam Gadewoltz and Travis Drozdziel each hauled in touchdowns last week.
As for Akron, they’re coming off a big Class C North win last week against JFK, and the Black Knights know they’re going to bring the physicality.
“They are a big football team,” mentioned Helmer. “They have two big backs, quarterback is a dual threat. They are very simplistic in what they do, but they do it well. We need to be able to win at the line of scrimmage this week.”
A key to this game will be to get running back Angel Caraballo going, who carried 20 times last week for 101 yards. A big night from him would surely increase the chances for the Black Knights to come away with a victory.
When asked what the key to this weeks game would be, Coach Helmer didn’t shy away from stating what his team needed to do to be successful.
“Physicality. I would like to see us move people and move people off the ball this week. I know it sounds simple, but that’s what we have to get done.”
Silver Creek/Forestville will look to tally their first win of the 2018 season at home with kickoff scheduled at 7 p.m.
Fredonia/Brocton (1-0) @ Alden (0-1)
ALDEN — The Fredonia/Brocton Hillbillies got off to a nice start to their season by defeating the Newfane Panthers 20-7 in a Class B3 matchup last Friday.
This week the Hillbillies face another tough task as they travel to Alden to face the Bulldogs, who are coming off of a big loss to Hamburg last week by a score of 48-14. With the hot temperatures across the area this week, it’s been tough to prepare for a big game, but Hillbillie head coach Greg Sherlock knows his team has the focus to stay locked in.
“It’s been miserable this week,” said Sherlock. “It’s tough to ask the kids to get out there and practice and watch film in a hot room — but they’ve done well with it.”
Last week we saw the Fredonia/Brocton defense stand tall against 250 pound running back Jaden Heers from Newfane, causing three turnovers and shutting out the Panthers in the second half. Coach Sherlock loved the way his team was able to make adjustments throughout the contest.
“I liked the adjustments we made in the second half,” said Sherlock. “We tackled much better in the second half and played with a lot more confidence. The defense shined the best on Friday, we just have to stay aggressive.”
The Hillbillies defense will face another tough challenge this week, as Sherlock referenced the Bulldog quarterback Luke Bush being a big key to their offense.
“[Bush] concerns me,” said Sherlock. “There were times last week where there was no blocking and he still made things happen. Besides him they have some big kids up front that can get off the ball.”
Coach Sherlock also identified Alden’s receiver Ethan Kent and lineman Justin Mason as players to watch for Alden.
As long as the Hillbillies can stay disciplined, they’ll have a shot to start their season 2-0 on the road.
“We are going to have to be disciplined on defense and remember our keys,” mentioned Sherlock. “We’ll have to focus on the QB because he can run at any time. If we stay disciplined, we’ll be alright.”
For the Hillbillies, Joelle Colon will be a player to watch as he’s coming off a three touchdown night just a week ago. Quarterback Trey Swartz will look to improve on his 4-12, 91 yard outing by finding his big targets in Ka’Reem Levens and Jake Skinner.
The matchup this week against Alden will give the Hillbillies a chance to prove they are for real this season, and make a statement to the rest of Class B3.