Salamanca visits Portville, newly merged Cardinals face Titans in Week 1

Something’s got to give Friday night in Portville.

Salamanca seeks its first regular season varsity football win since 2014. Portville seeks its first since 2015. The Warriors’ drop in classification to Class D has the team playing a nearly all-new schedule, with the only holdover from last season coming in a Week 7 non-league game with Gowanda/Pine Valley.

Portville went 0-8 last year, while Salamanca finished 1-8 with a consolation tournament win. Third-year Warriors coach Paul Haley knows his team is in no position to take any opponents lightly.

“I know they’ll be well-prepared,” Haley said of Portville. “Coach (Gary) Swetland has been at it a long time. I’m sure he’ll have those boys ready. We’ve been watching some tape on them and they definitely don’t shy away from tackling. They come up and hit you. They’ll get after it and I know coach Swetland will take a look at us and he’ll have something for us. He’s a heck of a coach and I’m sure he’ll have those kids ready to go.”

Salamanca played its annual Red and Gray Game intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday, Aug. 23, then visited Wellsville to play a four-way rotating scrimmage with Dansville and Bolivar-Richburg on Saturday. The tune-up week showed Haley his team’s defense is “definitely” ahead of the offense.

“Saturday at the four-way scrimmage our defense played pretty good,” he said. “We’ve still got a lot of things to work on but as far as them coming together with the new defense I thought they looked pretty sharp. Offense, we still have a lot of things to work on. We weren’t as smooth offensively, that’s for sure, but we know what we need to work on now and we’ll get after it in this week of practice.”

Salamanca will look to clean up “the little details” on offense.

“Being more consistent across the board,” Haley said. “We had some stuff our line needed to clean up, a few things our backs need to clean up, I think we need our backs out leading and throwing better blocks and being more decisive running the ball. It’s stuff that’ll come.”