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Throwback Feature: Salamanca-Falconer set to kickoff for 50th time (1997)

Warriors looking to climb Division VII ladder with Homecoming Win

The Salamanca Warriors (3-1,1-1) will host the Falconer Falcons (2-2, 1-1) during Homecoming festivities Saturday night at Vet'S Park. This will be the 50th meeting between the two teams, as Salamanca holds a convincing 31-16-2 series lead over the Falcons.

The Warriors arc coming off a 12-6 win over a huge Cassadaga Valley squad, while Falconer dumped Silver Creek 21-6. Both* teams cannot afford to lose another game .in the division according to both coaches in tomorrows league game.

"Every game is a must-win for us, as well as for them. If we want to have a realistic chance to get into the playoffs than we must win the remainder of our games," stated Falconer Head Coach Bill Davenport.

"It's quite possible that the top of our division could end up with several teams with two losses. That would make an interesting tiebreaker." Salamanca Head Coach George Whitcher agrees with the must-win label this game has on it. "With two losses in our division your in trouble. We need to win this game," said the Warriors' mentor.

Saturday's game will be the first time Salamanca has seen a smaller sized team this year, as Falconer's biggest players are sophomore Eric Sipe (5-11, 235), junior Greg Tompsett (6-0, 225) and senior Brian Best (5-11, 210). Falconer will be giving away approximately 150 pounds on the front line.

"Falconer has a lot of team speed, but their not as big as teams we've been seeing. They run a ton of option with about five different sets. You just don't see that much (option plays) anymore," said Whitcher.

"Our offensive line has been seeing bigger kids, so we must be prepared to get off the ball a little bit better and move them," said the Salamanca coach. Falconer has used their speed to beat Silver Creek and Cheektowaga, but have been outmatched- against a big Portville team. The Falcons have also been "plagued with the injury, bug over the past several seasons, as starting running back Chris Muscarella (5- 10, 171) has not played a full season since his freshman year.

"(Chris) Muscarella is an excellent runner, but he has had a tough go at it because of injuries. He injured himself in our game last year and was out for the rest of the season said the Salamanca coach.

Depth has also been a big problem for the Falcons, as they will come into Saturday's game banged up once again.

"We don't have much depth and a few of our players are injured right now. ' We're playing very hard right now, but it (the game) could get nasty if we don't execute well," stated Davenport.

"It's hard to believe that-our schools have played each other 50 times. It's a great rivalry, as Salamanca has a great tradition of excellence. George (Whitcher) is a living legend down there, as he does a fantastic job with the program every year," said the Falconer coach.

The Warriors will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. instead of the regular 8 p.m. start due to Homecoming festivities.

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