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Class B-1 football preview capsules, schedules

Class B-1

Cheektowaga Warriors (9-2)

Coach: Mike Fatta, eighth season.

Field: Gerald Hickson Stadium.

Program Founded: 1934.

Outlook: The reigning overall Class B champions will return to a triple-option offense this season, the same offense Cheektowaga used when it won its first sectional in 2009. Look for Cardinal O’Hara transfer Quantrail Moss to see plenty of time in the slot receiver role, as well as at defensive back, where he recorded 104 tackles in two seasons with the Hawks. Freshman Cameron Warburton is a 5-foot-11, 215-pound running back who will get touches. The Warriors are gunning for their fifth league title in six seasons.

Schedule

Sept. 6 Maritime/Health Sciences, TBA

Sept. 13 Lew-Port, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 Grand Island, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 Lake Shore, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Maryvale, 7 p.m.

East Aurora/Holland Blue Devils (3-6)

Coach: John Swiniuch, third season.

Field: Blue Devils Stadium.

Program founded: Circa 1901.

Outlook: The Blue Devils finished 2018 with a 3-6 record, an improvement over 2017’s winless campaign. Quarterback Lucas Juliano is among 13 starters returning for East Aurora/Holland. His feature target likely will be fellow senior Ryan Maloney, who ran a 4.8-second 40-yard dash and benches 225 pounds. Team captain Shane MacSwann will move to the backfield with Jack Rogers after playing offensive line last season. He’ll also fill departed Finn O’Brien’s middle linebacker role after playing outside linebacker last season.

Schedule

Sept. 6 at Springville, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 Lake Shore, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Roy-Hart, 7 p.m.

Oct. 3 at Lew-Port, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Pioneer, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 Iroquois, 7 p.m.

Lake Shore Eagles (2-6)

Coach: Dan Russell, second season.

Field: Eagles Stadium.

Program Founded: 1950.

Outlook: After two rebuilding seasons, the new-look Eagles have reasons for optimism after strong showings at the Lancaster and Dunkirk 7-on-7 session tournaments earlier in the summer. Dual-threat quarterback Mike Neary will be behind center with tight end Thomas Michael as a key target. Behind him in the backfield will be junior AJ Aikin, who coach Dan Russell said has impressed in offseason workouts, and senior Jordan Kosnik, who is moving to defensive end from linebacker.

Schedule

Sept. 6 Eden/North Collins, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 at East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.

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

Sept. 27 Lew-Port, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 4 Pioneer, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 Sweet Home, 7 p.m.

Lew-Port Lancers (4-5)

Coach: Matt Bradshaw, third season.

Field: Blakeslee Stadium.

Program Founded: 1953.

Outlook: Lew-Port will look to build off last season’s strong finish, when the Lancers won their last three games, including a 28-0 victory over division rival East Aurora/Holland. Watch for feature back Gino Fontanarosa as he returns from an injury suffered early last season. He’ll share the backfield with junior Frankie Previte, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in Fontanarosa’s stead. Senior JP Stewart, an honorable mention on the All-Class B-1 team, will be behind center again for the Lancers.

Schedule

Sept. 6 Medina, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 Pioneer, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Lake Shore, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 East Aurora/Holland, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 at Newfane, 2 p.m.
Oct. 18 V-Penfield, 7 p.m.

Pioneer Panthers (9-1)

Coach: Jim Duprey, 18th season.

Field: Pioneer Stadium.

Program founded: 1970.

Outlook: A solid core of returning seniors means that last season’s Class B runner-up could be primed for another successful season. Expect the Panthers to adopt a running back by committee approach after losing Connolly Cup winner Mike Rigerman to graduation. Team captains Tra’e Hill and Tyler Ely are among the running backs attempting to pick up the slack on the ground behind Pioneer’s stout offensive line. Keep an eye on hulking 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end Denton Tilly, who shined at defensive end as well.

Schedule

Sept. 7 Burgard, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Olean, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Lew-Port, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Lake Shore, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 East Aurora/Holland, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 Springville/West Valley, 7 p.m.

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