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Class B-3 football preview capsules, schedules

Albion Purple Eagles (8-1)

Coach: Adam Krenning, third season

Field: Spierdowis Field

Program founded: 1898

Outlook: Brilliance Johnson will again be featured on the offense as Albion looks for another successful season. The shifty senior running back was named to the Class B-2 first team offense after he racked up 660 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Quarterback Thomas Furmanski and wideout Kevin Hillman are among other seniors returning to the Purple Eagles roster. Deyonci Farley should be a defensive anchor at linebacker. He had 49 tackles and two sacks in 2018.

Schedule

Sept. 6 Newfane, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 Springville/West Valley, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Depew, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Lackawanna, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 Olean, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 at Amherst, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 Medina, 7 p.m.

Depew Wildcats (2-7)

Coach: Mark DiRienzo, second season

Field: Constantino Complex

Program founded: 1912

Outlook: The Wildcats will look to build team unity this season as well as get back to the playoffs. Behind center will be senior Nate Kulesz, a dual-threat passer who also shines on the basketball court. Wideout P.J. Burns will be a featured target, while junior Christian Pagano will get his first varsity touches at running back. Matt Russo is a big 6-foot-1, 225-pound defensive tackle who can squat 500 pounds. Keep an eye on him as well as senior linebacker Zach Tominich on defense.

Schedule

Sept. 6 Alden, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 Albion, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Olean, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 Springville/West Valley, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 Lackawanna, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 Lancaster, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 25 at Wesleyan Christian (Okla.), 7 p.m.

Lackawanna Steelers (4-4)

Coach: Adam Tardif, 10th season

Field: Veterans Stadium

Program founded: 1925

Outlook: Jeremi’yha Presley and Shyheim Smalls are among the players to watch on the Steelers’ offense, with the former expected to be a feature at running back. Presley was second on the team last season with 206 yards and three scores. Lackawanna lost some of last year’s playmakers to graduation, so a host of younger talent, such as Amherst transfer Tyler McClutcheon, need to step up. Javion Morales, at 5-foot-9 and 260 pounds, should anchor the Steelers’ defensive line with Presley behind him at safety.

Schedule

Sept. 7 Tonawanda, 1 p.m.

Sept. 14 Eden/North Collins, 1 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Springville/West Valley, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 Albion, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Southwestern, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 at Depew, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Olean, 7 p.m.

Olean Huskies (4-4)

Coach: Phil Vecchio, fourth season

Field: Bradner Stadium

Program founded: 1893

Outlook: Star linebacker Nick Fratercangelo is among several seniors returning to the Huskies’ lineup. Fratercangelo, entering his fourth year on the varsity, suffered an ACL injury last season against Salamanca that cut his junior campaign short. The 5-foot-7, 185-pound linebacker was still named the B-2 Defensive Co-Player of the Year (46 tackles in five games) and should be able to pick up where he left off as a defensive force. Look for receivers Nick Pantuso and Gavin Kulp to be focal points on Olean’s offense.

Schedule

Sept. 6 Dunkirk, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 Pioneer, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Randolph, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 Depew, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Albion, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Springville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 Lackawanna, 7 p.m.

Springville/West Valley Panthers (0-8)

Coach: Mark Heichberger, first season

Field: Pop Warner Field

Program founded: 1898

Outlook: It may be coach Mark Heichberger’s first varsity season, but he has plenty of coaching experience. He coached Springville’s JV team and served as an assistant coach on the varsity squad. Heichberger’s team features quarterback Nick Emmick, the third passer in Panthers’ history to throw for 1,000 yards. On the other side of the ball is lean, quick defensive end David Thompson, who has showcased the ability to get into the backfield and wreak havoc.

Schedule

Sept. 6. East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Albion, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 Lackawanna, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Eden, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Depew, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 Olean, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18: at Pioneer, 7 p.m.

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