Tonawanda News — Sweet Home’s visit to George Vetter Stadium to battle North Tonawanda has been circled on calendars throughout the area all summer. The wait is over; today the Jacks and Panthers collide.
Jacks first-year coach Tony Truilizio is expecting a war against Sweet Home. He characterized the Panthers as a “quick scoring, very fast team” that likes to use its athleticism to get out to early leads.
Truilizio is hoping NT can weather an early storm.
“I think the earliest part of the game is probably going to be more important than anything,” Truilizio said. “As long as we have a lot of new people coming onto the field we’ll be OK. If they can ride the first quarter and not make any mental errors, I think the evening will go our way.”
Panthers coach John Faller, in his 26th season, said the games are more exciting when his team is able to face another team with a strong tradition.
Faller has his players prepared for a difficult game.
“I expect to win and that’s what these kids expect,” Faller said. “I dont know what’s going to happen, that’s why we play the game. We have to make sure we don’t commit any turnovers and that we have no mistakes.”
The Jacks’ defense has been conservative in practices and it’s recently given Truilizio a headache or two. He’s hoping the unit will play agressive against the Panthers and try and create some turnovers for his offense.
”I can’t make them the players think anything, they have to believe in what they’re doing,” Truilzio said “If they stop thinking and start reacting, we’re going to be fine.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Cheektowaga at Tonawanda, 7 p.m.
Last season Tonawanda fell to Cheektowaga, 43-6 in Week Four and the Warriors are looking for retribution tonight at Clint Small Stadium.
Starting quarterback Clayton Hess is a senior and Warriors head coach Rob Gross has been thrilled with his progression over the summer. The Warriors will need a strong performance from the 6-foot-4 passer, especially in terms of managing the game and minimizing mistakes.
Cheektowaga is the defending B West champions and Gross said it is athletic at the skill positions.
”They have some outstanding athletes,” Gross said. “The key to any football game is not to give up big plays and to take care of the football. That obviously becomes magnified when a team with overall team speed comes in. You can’t give up the big play and we need to take care of the football.”
at Jamestown, 7 p.m.
Jamestown senior quarterback passed for 839 yards last season and is poised to begin his third year as starter. He is going against a young Kenmore West squad that is looking to make a statement with an early upset victory.
Blue Devils head coach Rich Harris is well aware of Jamestown’s ability to win games and the talent the team possesses.
”Two of our first three games are non-league games against Jamestown and Sweet Home and they’re two teams that start quick,” Harris said. “So if we can show well or possibly win those games and get a little momentum going, most of our league games are in the second half of the season.”
Look for Kenmore West to lean on junior running back Alex Price as he looks to build a strong practice season.
at Grand Island,
1:30 p.m. Saturday
The Bulldogs are looking to start the season off on a high note after an 0-8 season a year ago. Unfortunately for Kenmore East it’s first opponent won five games last season and is returning several key players.
Junior quarterback Conner McMahon is going to have to play some plays with his arm and his legs if the Bulldogs are to keep things close at Grand Island.
Edison at Cardinal O’Hara, 2 p.m. Saturday
Hawks coach Angelo Sciandra has prepared his team for its difficult schedule. The players just want to play football and on Saturday they’ll get their chance.
”We have a monster schedule and we open up with Edison, the largest school in Rochester,” Sciandra said. “Playing those kinds of schools everything I say is with a grain of salt, but I think we’re going to be able to move the ball and we’ll see. We should be able to score some points, but we’ll see.”
Senior quarterback Anthony DiFrancesco will lead the Hawks and Sciandra expects him to manage the offense efficiently on Saturday.
St. Joe’s, 2 p.m. Saturday
The Marauders will play without 2011 Connelly Cup winner Chad Kelly on Saturday when they host Wilson-Magnet at Robert T. Scott Athletic Complex.
Junior QB Tyler Hill will get his first start and will try and do exactly what his coach, Dennis Gilbert, needs him to do: not try and do too much.
Playmaker Nigel Davis and hard-hitting linebacker Rod Payne are other players to watch as St. Joe’s looks for its first win of 2012.Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117.