The Silver Creek Black Knights certainly didn't get a favorable schedule to open the Class D high school football season.
After a Week 1 loss to powerhouse Maple Grove, the Black Knights travel to Randolph tonight to take on the mighty Cardinals.
"It's a grind," Silver Creek coach Sean Helmer said. "It's hard. You challenge your kids. We have to step up to the plate. If you get through those games, it makes life easier. If you don't, you're licking your wounds."
Silver Creek’s Zeddie Williams and the Black?Knights Knights will look for their first win of the season tonight when they travel to Randolph in a Class D?high school football game.
Though a win would be very important for the Black Knights tonight, Helmer doesn't believe the season will be over if Silver Creek falls.
"Obviously it would be very hard," he said. "I have seen 0-2 teams make it to (Ralph Wilson) Stadium. Our kids realize we are playing two of the best programs in the state back to back. It is what it is. Do you quit or rise to that challenge?"
Though Randolph has always been known for smash-mouth football, they have added an aerial attack to their playbook this year and are very balanced offensively.
"They are like they always are," Helmer said.
"They are physical and aggressive defensively. They want to run the ball. They may pass the ball better this year than most years I have played them. Their quarterback throws a nice ball. They might be more balanced. I don't think there is ever weaknesses in Randolph. They are well coached and disciplined. You have to find out what they are doing and counter that."
Despite the loss to Maple Grove, Helmer was pleased with his team's performance.
"I thought our line played well," he said. "They pass protected well. Nick (Iskra), for his first game, did fine. He handeld things well. We ran the ball fairly well. We could have done better, but you have to have the ball to do that. Maple Grove grinded out the rest of the clock in the fourth. We need to run the ball and control the ground game and do what we pride ourselves on. We need to start off faster - not match their intensity, but create intensity ourselves."
And for the Black Knights to be succesful, Helmer isn't looking for a particular player to step up. He is looking for the whole team to step up.
"When we look at film, we tell kids to evaluate themselves," Helmer said. "If we don't fix mistakes, we won't get better. We had a pretty good week of practice. I expect more from all of them to be honest."