OLEAN, NY — Phil Vecchio knows the task at hand.
His Olean Huskies football team won four out of its last five regular season games to earn the No. 7 seed in the Section VI Class B tournament.
The Huskies (4-3) will begin their quest for a sectional championship by traveling to No. 2 Newfane (7-0) on Saturday for a 2 p.m. quarterfinal contest.
The Portville Panthers and the Allegany-Limestone Gators also will begin post-season play this weekend.
Speaking of Newfane's team, also known as the Panthers, Vecchio said, “Obviously, they’re a good team. They have a really good option attack. We need to stay disciplined on defense and understand what our assignments are, so we can contain them.”
Newfane features a two-headed rushing attack led by senior running back Jaden Heers and senior quarterback Garrett Srock.
Heers, who is listed at a solid 250 pounds, has 802 rushing yards on the season and 14 touchdowns.
Srock has run for 793 yards and eight touchdowns, along with 432 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air.
To slow down the Newfane offense, Olean will rely on its seniors.
Nick Fratercangelo, a four-year varsity starter, leads the Huskies with 47 tackles this season. Aiden Nenno has racked up 43 tackles.
“We’ve played pretty good team defense this year,” Vecchio said. “We pride ourselves on getting 11 bodies to the ball and our linebackers have been excellent.”
Offensively, the Huskies will look for a big game out of running back Nick Pantuso, who has run for 635 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Olean quarterback Railey Silvis went 51-98 passing this season for 584 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions.
Galvin Kulp has caught 27 of those passes for 318 yards and six touchdowns.“We need big plays out of our seniors that have been to this stage before, and hopefully they can lead us to a victory this Saturday,” Vecchio said.
Portville (6-1) goes into the Section VI Class C tournament as the No. 2 seed from the South division, pitting them against the No. 3 Akron Tigers (4-3) from the North. Portville will play at home at 7 p.m. Friday.
Coach Josh Brooks said that his team benefited from being able to watch Akron play last week.
“Our senior night was supposed to be last week against Gowanda, but they forfeited,” Brooks said. “We had some time to get healthy and scout our opponents last week, so we’ve taken advantage of that.”
Akron’s starting quarterback was injured midway through the season, but Brooks said that he was suited up last week despite not playing.
He said that the Panthers would prepare for that game as though Akron would be at full strength.
Portville will turn to junior running back Jayden Lassiter, who racked up 813 rushing yards on 111 carries during the regular season, along with 16 touchdowns.
Dalton Tobola totaled 18 receptions for 376 yards and four touchdowns for the Panthers.
“Just like every game, we’ve got to block, play good defense and limit turnovers,” Brooks said. “Our community has been very supportive of us, so we’re fortunate to have a home playoff game.”
On the same side of the Class C bracket as Portville, No. 4 Allegany-Limestone (3-4) will travel to No. 1 Wilson (7-0). Kickoff between the Gators and Wilson's Lakemen is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.
The Gators will look to senior running backs Kyle Herbert and Logan Klice to lead their offense.
Herbert has run for 427 yards on 91 carries this year and scored three touchdowns.
Klice has 365 rushing yards on 77 carries and four touchdowns, along with 13 receptions for 123 yards and three touchdowns.
A-L senior quarterback Thomas Callen has gone 51-107 through the air this year for 605 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Callen also leads the team with 48 tackles.
Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox.