Cody Smith (5) and Fredonia will try to return to The Ralph; the Hillbillies lost in last year’s C final.
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Allegany-Limestone Gators (5-4)

Coach: Paul Furlong, first season

Home field: Fred Grace Field

Program founded: 1952

Outlook: Returning TB Todd Mason has explosive speed. “He’s going to be our main ball carrier. We’re going to try to get him to the outside and see what he can do for us,” said Furlong. The mainstay of the line is RG Peter Harris, who’s 5-11, 265. Newcomer to the line is 6-3, 270 junior Roman Greco, up from the JV. LB MacKenzie Zemak looks to have a big senior year after tearing his ACL in the second game of last season. Senior QB Zack Johnston gets his shot after being the backup last year. Thomas Nye moves from OL to FB. The Gators have some nice athletes, but not many bring varsity experience.


Sept. 6 vs. Catt./Little Valley, 7:30 p.m

Sept. 13 at Southwestern, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Falconer, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Gowanda, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Fredonia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Salamanca (at Veterans Park), 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Silver Creek, 7 p.m.

Falconer Falcons (1-7)

Coach: Dan Krenzer, 11th season

Home field: Bill Race Field

Program founded: Unknown

Outlook: With nine starters back on offense and eight on defense, the Falcons are thinking postseason. “We have 16 seniors coming back from a learning year with program changes. We hope these experienced kids will make their mark. The playoffs are a goal,” said Krenzer. Kyle Petersen returns as the team’s leading receiver and is a three-year starter. Jacob Youngberg led Falconer in tackles and is another three-year starter. Jacob Stimson and Cole Stuart anchor the line and Jimmy McDonald can get it done at TE/DE.


Sept. 6 vs. Salamanca, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. Fredonia, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Allegany-Limestone, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Silver Creek, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Gowanda, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Portville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Southwestern, 7 p.m.

Fredonia Hillbillies (7-3)

Coach: Mike Marshall, first season

Home field: Orange Bowl

Program founded: 1901

Outlook: The Hillbillies will count heavily on Weston Ley, a Class C North all-star last year at DB. Ley will combine with senior Cody Smith to move the chains at RB. “We can use the same hard work that we used last year and the same goals, but we can try to achieve a lot more on the field and on the practice field and make sure that we’re working hard every single day,” said Smith. “We want to get past The Ralph and go as far as we can go.” Marshall said the transition to head coach has been smooth, thanks is part to the help he’s gotten from Bob Ball, the program’s coach the past 13 seasons.


Sept. 6 at Silver Creek, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Falconer, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Salamanca, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. Southwestern, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Allegany-Limestone, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Gowanda, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Dunkirk, 7:30 p.m.

Gowanda Panthers (0-8)

Coach: Sean Gabel, 5th season

Home field: Hillis Field

Program founded: Unknown

Outlook: Brennen Geiger looks to get the Panthers back on track. The senior RB, who has 4.6 speed, rushed for over 800 yards last year. Senior Walker Cygan is one of four players back on offense and defense. Look for him lining up in the backfield at QB or FB. The line will be bolstered by senior Jeremy Pickering, a returning starter who goes about 6-1, 250. Dalton Francis looks to have a big year after missing last season with an injury. Tough opener against always-strong Southwestern.


Sept. 6 vs. Southwestern, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. JFK, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Silver Creek, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. Allegany-Limestone, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Gowanda, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Fredonia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Salamanca, 7 p.m.

Salamanca Warriors (7-2)

Coach: Jason Marsh, eighth season

Home field: Vets’ Park

Program founded: 1915

Outlook: The Warriors are 36 players strong, the largest roster in over 10 years. Leading the way is senior RB Cyrus Spruce, a hard runner with good speed. Senior WR Joe Hinman was the team’s leading receiver a year ago. Senior center Sean Connell had a solid offseason making big gains in the weight room. The defensive leader of the team is safety Sean Greene. a smart, tough player with good ball sense. “We are a football team who has good size up front with a lot of depth at the skilled positions,” said Marsh, who returns to the sideline after a year absence. “We can go two deep at every skilled position without losing much of a step. We need to answer the question of how physical we can be up front.”


Sept. 6 at Falconer, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. Silver Creek, 7 p.m. *

Sept. 20 at Fredonia, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Springville, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 vs. Southwestern, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Allegany-Limestone * 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Gowanda, 7 p.m.

Silver Creek Black Knights (5-4)

Coach: Sean Helmer, eighth season

Home field: No name

Program founded: circa 1928.

Outlook: Junior RB/LB Sherman Williams is the last of five brothers who have shined for the Black Knights. He led last year’s team in tackles. Helmer said he’s got the same killer instinct as his older brothers. “Absolutely, he’s a pure linebacker, one of the best we’ve had.” WR/LB Jake Lewis and G/LB Nate Jones started the last two games of last year as freshmen. Junior Mike Priest will help on both sides of the line. QB Jake Nosbisch will take the snaps and be joined in the backfield with RB Craig Gilbert.


Sept. 6 vs. Fredonia, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Salamanca (Veterans Park), 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Gowanda, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. Falconer, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Randolph, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Southwestern, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Allegany-Limestone, 7 p.m.

Southwestern Trojans (3-6)

Coach: Jay Sirianni, 11th season

Home field: Charles A. Lawson

Program founded: 1949

Outlook: Sirianni said he has a young team only returning three starters on offense and two of defense, but they have a renewed energy after a disappointing season last year. Junior running back Hunter Peterson is a team captain and returning starter who had good speed and great leadership skills. The anchor of both lines is senior Kyle Moran, who started in the 2011 state championship game. Senior RB/LB Kevin Bellardo is ready to have a big year in his third year starting. Senior kicker Tanner Hoose, an all-state selection in 2011, has a big-time leg. In 10 seasons as coach, Sirianni has a 90-19 record.


Sept. 6 at Gowanda, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. Allegany-Limestone, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Olean, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Fredonia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Salamanca, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Silver Creek, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Falconer, 7 p.m.

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