The second week of the high school football season is upon us and, like Week One, the schedule yet again promises a number of can't-miss contests.
Atop the list, perhaps, is tonight's battle at 7 between the defending state champion Randolph Cardinals and the Chad Bartoszek (former Salamanca and University at Buffalo standout) led Ellicottville/West Valley Eagles, who made the move up to Class D this season after capturing the DD title last year because they felt they had the talent to compete.
Tonight we'll find out if that feeling was correct.
Randolph, as has been its custom of late, made easy work of Westfield/Brocton last week, dominating in the trenches - the Cardinals amassed 304 rushing yards while allowing Westfield/Brocton a mere 25 - and rolling up 42 points by half on the way to a convincing 44-7 season-opening victory.
Ellicottville's strength, meanwhile, lies in its rushing attack; particularly with runner Phalla Musall.
Musall, the 2012 Class DD co-offensive player of the year after gaining 1,300 yards (he averaged 10 yards per carry) rushing, racked up 144 yards rushing on 22 carries with four touchdowns in a 26-11 win over Cassadaga Valley last week.
In Class C, Southwestern will look to remain unbeaten when it welcomes Allegany-Limestone to Charles A. Lawson Field.
The Trojans, behind Noah Weinstein's two late touchdowns, rallied from a 14-6 fourth-quarter deficit against Gowanda to earn the 20-14 victory. Allegany-Limestone, on the other hand, will undoubtedly be eager to bounce back from a disappointing 21-0 defeat at the hands of Class DD foe Cattaraugus-Little Valley.
The Gators turned the ball over six times in the loss.
In non-league action tonight, Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake will host Nichols at 7 p.m. The game will be played at Chautauqua Lake Central School.
A defensive struggle for much of their contest with Portville, the Thunder Dragons eventually got their running game going by handing the ball off to Ryan Miller (130 yards on 22 rushes) and running behind guard Chandler Baker, scoring a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to clinch the 13-0 win.
Nichols is coming off a heartbreaking loss, 30-28, against O'Hara. After scoring a touchdown with just 30 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to two, Nichols was denied on the two-point conversion try and was forced to settle for the loss.
Just one area team will be playing on Saturday, and that's the Jamestown Red Raiders.
Jamestown will be traveling to Crosby Field to take on Kenmore West for a 2 p.m. Class AA showdown with the Blue Devils, whose record is 0-1 after falling 22-7 to Lancaster in Week One.
Like Allegany-Limestone, Kenmore West struggled to maintain possession of the ball and committed six turnovers (three fumbles and three interceptions) in their opening loss.
Turnovers may be the least of the Blue Devils' worries, however, as they will have to find a way to contend with Jamestown's rapid-fire, no-huddle offense - an offense that poured on a whopping 52 points in just one half of football last week against Niagara Falls.