By STEFAN GESTWICKI
OBSERVER Sports Reporter
The Fredonia Hillbillies will look to build off an impressive season-opening win, but may have a tough task ahead of them in the form of the Allegany-Limestone Gators.
Fredonia (1-0) used a 146-yard, two-touchdown performance from Zach Buckley to open the year with a 28-14 win over JFK last week at home.
"We did some things well," Fredonia head coach Bob Ball admitted, "but we didn't play four quarters. Once we got a lead we got a little complacent. Once we get a lead we can't relax."
They might not get a chance to relax as today the Hillbillies travel to take on the Gators, who rushed for over 300 yards as a team in a 34-6 rout of Westfield.
"Looking at what (the Gators) did, they ran some unbalanced lines," Ball explained. "It looks like they want to run the ball first and pass the ball second. It also looked like they got stronger as the game went on. We'll have to be aware of that."
Fredonia opened at home for the first time in a few seasons, but Ball knows his team is just as comfortable, if not better, on the road.
"It's nice to open at home," he said. "We like our home games and our home crowd, but I think we're a better team on the road. We haven't lost in over three years on the road. I really don't think (playing on the road) is going to be a problem, especially with the leadership that we have."
That leadership comes from a number of players on the Fredonia roster. Quarterback Trent Thompson, Buckley, Weston Ley, Nick Nocek and Chris Saden all received props from Ball for their play and leadership in last week's game.
Ball knows he's going to need a similar, if not improved effort from his guys if they are to improve to 2-0.
"I look for Buckley and Ley to lead us on offense again," he said. "They pretty much set up our offense last week and did the damage against JFK. We have other guys to go to, but they really start it. Trent Thompson did a nice job moving the offense. The guys around them need to get better each week to make us that much stronger of a team."
While the team's offensive weapons look to heat up, Fredonia's defense will be looking to cool down Allegany-Limestone's attack, perhaps most notably Trevor Barber, who rushed for 133 yards and two scores on just 15 carries against Westfield.
"I want good overall team defense," Ball noted. "We can't show them a weakness in any part of our defense. We need to be steady. Obviously we'll be geared up for the run, but we also have to be ready for the play-action pass. Nick Nocek, Zach Buckley, Jude Gardner and those guys need to continue to play well and have a good game.
"You want to win every game you play," he concluded. "The fact that this is a non-league game doesn't make it do-or-die at this point, but you don't want to drop one. You want to continue to build momentum and get better. I consider Allegany-Limestone a playoff team and this will be a test. It's definitely going to be a tough contest for us."