Though it's Week 5, Fredonia coach Bob Ball already has the high school football playoff standings down pat.
And tonight's Class C game against Cleveland Hill at the Orange Bowl will go a long ways in determining who will be near the top when the playoffs role around.
"This is a big one," Ball said. "Cleveland Hill beat Wilson last week so that puts our own destiny back in our hands. It's definitely a big game for us for having any hopes of winning the league. In Class C North, anyone can beat anyone. With Wilson having two losses, if we beat Cleveland Hill, we would have head-to-head rights in a tiebreaker. It puts us back in control of our own destiny. We need to get it done."
Fredonia’s Chris Saden, right, and the Fredonia Hillbillies host undefeated Cleveland Hill at the Orange Bowl tonight in Class C high school football action.
Ball noted there are five teams fighting for four playoff spots and this year, everything is up in the air.
After losing to Wilson in Week 3, the Hillbillies responded with a 56-8 victory over Gowanda last week.
"Anytime you lose a game, u don't want to get in rut," Ball said. "You want to get back on the winning track. It was important we did that and hopefully we addressed some weaknesses. I think our team learned a valuable lesson in Wilson.It's better to lose early in the year than later on. I'm just hoping thats the case for this season."
When asked what the keys to victory were this week, Ball noted its all about limiting penalties and turnovers and to play strong defense.
While both teams have the potential to be a high-powered offense, defense will be the key tonight.
"They play good defense," Ball said. "They have given up a few points. Offensively, they execute. They don't do a lot, but what they do, they do well. They want to run to the win. They can throw effectively. They have good speed and they execute well. When they need the big play, they got it.
"Cleveland Hill will be good test for us," Ball concluded. "They are undefeated for a reason. I hope the guys remember we beat them last year and they got to go to the Stadium and we didn't. It should be a great night for football. It's the game of the week in football. I hope it lives up to that."
The game will be televised tonight on Channel 19 in Dunkirk and Channel 5 in Fredonia. Ed Eaker will call the game and be joined in the booth by Jim Bunge.