In Week 2 of the Section 6 Class C football season, the Fredonia Hillbillies needed a second-half comeback to escape Cattaraugus County with a 13-12 victory over the Allegany-Limestone Gators.
Tonight, the two teams return to the same field in a first-round showdown of the playoffs.
"I think any team that makes the playoffs had to improve as the season goes on," Fredonia coach Bob Ball said. "I think we are both stronger teams. The more games you get and the more experience, the better you should get."
Though Fredonia spotted the Gators 12 points in the first half, Ball was pleased overall as Allegany-Limestone only had two big plays in the game - both which resulted in points.
Though the two teams have seen each already once before, Ball noted the Gators have added plays and different formations.
"They are a good running team," he continued. "The quarterback is their best runner. They also throw pretty well. They used the tight end and their slot receiver. It's a good mix of run and pass and they refer to the run and sneak in a pass. They run same plays with different formations to mix it up. They haven't done too much different, but add different formations."
Fredonia will also give the Gators different looks tonight than it showed in Week 2.
"We will put guys in position to make plays," Ball said. "We did some things very well the first time. They are going to try and take those strengths away. You can't come up with the same formula. We have to show them a different look."
Offensively, Fredonia has been led by the running game of Weston Ley and Tyler Cassidy. But for those two runners to be successful, it starts on the offensive line.
"The line has done a good job," Ball said. "Whoever we go to needs to execute, but it all starts with the offensive line. Our line is about the same size as their line - same weight and same size. We are very similar teams. We are definitely physical and fast. We have to use that to our advantage."
Though Fredonia starts a few sophomores, Fredonia is confident its playoff experiences in the past will be critical from here on out.
"I think they will respond well," Ball concluded. "We have guys who have been there and been a playoff team every year. We are experienced in that regard. Guys know what it takes to win playoff games. It's a matter of showing up and playing your best game of the season every week to keep on going. I'm looking forward to it."