A storied program with a state title in its trophy case, Weedsport football took on a new direction in 2018 when the program became the first in Cayuga County to become an 8-man team.
A constant power in Section III's Class D division, the Warriors fell on hard times in recent years. Lack of wins led to lack of participants, and on the eve of the 2018 season, Weedsport made a request to become an 8-man program.
Months later, the Warriors captured the 8-man sectional championship with a 30-18 win over Altmar-Parish-Williamstown at the Carrier Dome.
Now with a year of experience in 8-man under its belt, Weedsport will reacquaint with the Rebels in its season opener 7 p.m. Friday at Weedsport High School. The Warriors faced A-P-W twice in 2018, coming away with a pair of wins including that sectional title game.
The two teams also met last October in a match-up of two then-undefeated teams. Weedsport emerged in a 46-8 drubbing. While the Warriors return all but two players from last year's championship roster, A-P-W should have last year's losses fresh on its mind.
Here are other match-ups for Cayuga County-area teams in Week 3:
Auburn (2-0) vs. Fulton (2-1), 6:30 p.m. at Fulton High School Stadium Field
Wins against a Class AA opponent and a Section V opponent have the Maroons in the inaugural state rankings, coming in at No. 18 after two weeks.
Through two games, Auburn has held its opponents to 21 points. Against Penfield last week, the Maroons forced four turnovers and picked up two sacks.
Already with three games completed, Fulton has shown the ability to light up the scoreboard and win defensive battles. The Red Raiders smoked Fowler 43-6 in their opener, and after a rough loss at Central Square, recovered to outlast Edison Tech 8-6 last week.
Auburn begins its league schedule next week against Indian River, but the Maroons will try to sweep their non-league games first.
Cato-Meridian (2-0) vs. General Brown (0-2), 7:30 p.m. at Cato-Meridian High School
Momentum from a strong 2018 season has carried right over to 2019 for the Blue Devils. Cato-Meridian is outscoring its opponents 85-14 through two games and that dominance had led to a No. 19 ranking in Class C in the latest state rankings.
Last week, the Blue Devils dispatched of county rival Port Byron/Union Springs 54-0 behind a three-score game from Ethan Divelbliss, who reached the end zone on runs of 1, 3 and 4 yards.
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General Brown, typically a Class C powerhouse, has struggled mightily in its first two games. The Lions have already allowed 100 points in losses to Canastota and Lowville.
Jordan-Elbridge (0-2) vs. Hannibal (1-1), 7 p.m. at John Howes Stadium in Jordan
The Eagles are improving, but so far wins have eluded them. J-E was dropped by Lowville 50-8, but held Herkimer to 20 points in Week 2.
Against the Magicians, the Eagles fell behind 14-0 before Erik Ryan caught a 61-yard pass from Alexander Pond. J-E remained within a score until the fourth quarter when Herkimer scored its third touchdown to seal the win.
Hannibal allowed 40 points in a trouncing from Southern Hills Week 1, but bounced back Week 2 to top Moravia.
Moravia (1-1) vs. Delhi (2-0), 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Dave Kelly Field in Delhi
The Blue Devils' offense came down to earth after a blowout win in Week 1. Moravia will again lean on quarterback Kyle Witten, who has six touchdowns and 439 yards after two games.
Moravia faces a tough task on the road at Delhi. Delhi has outscored opponents 81-32 so far this year and are one of only two teams in Section IV, Class D that remain unbeaten.
Skaneateles (2-0) vs. Port Byron/Union Springs (1-1), 7 p.m. at Skaneateles High School
The Lakers are off to another stellar start after wins against Holland Patent and Canastota to begin the season. Skaneateles, led by quarterback James Musso and receiver Nick Wamp, currently sit No. 2 in Class C in the state rankings.
Musso already has 11 touchdowns in two games, while Wamp has totaled 14 catches, 310 yards and six touchdowns. Wamp also topped 100 rushing yards last week against Canastota.
PB/US also started off strong Week 1, but took a step back last week against rival Cato-Meridian in a shutout loss.
The two programs last met in 2017, with the eventual state champion Lakers beating the Panthers 48-14.