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Inter-district rivals clash on opening night of 2018 season (Will North vs. Will East Preview)

One of the marquee matchups on opening weekend of the Section VI 2018 football season is tonight’s contest between the Williamsville North Spartans and Williamsville East Flames.

Both teams are coming off successful 2017 campaigns, Will East made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012 and Will North finished as the Class AA runner up to Lancaster who of course went on to the state championship.

A win on Friday night would provide a ton of momentum to either team; despite being in different leagues, this is a rivalry matchup.

“Our kids love playing these guys because they grew up with them,” Will North head coach Mike Mammoliti said. “They played little league together, they live in the same neighborhoods and do all sorts of stuff together. I like the fact that it’s a rivalry, I like that all the kids know each other and I think that blends itself into a pretty competitive nature.”

Williamsville North hosted the Flames in last year’s week two match up; the Spartans won that contest by a score of 35-18.

The Williamsville East Flames enter year two of the Mike Torillo era and they hope to build off of a successful 2017 campaign, which saw them reach the postseason for the first time since 2012.

“We brought a different enthusiasm to the program, but I give all the credit to our players,” says Torillo, who is excited for what 2018 has in store.

Offensively the Flames lost some key pieces in the offseason including captain wide receiver Joey Shifflet, but Torillo sees growth ahead for the Flames’ offense. East will enter its second season with QB Colson Skorka at the helm making the head coach confident in the progress the offense can make. “Understanding our terminology and what we are trying to do offensively is going to make us a better football team.”

North has defeated East in the past three matchups between the two teams. What would a win on Friday mean for East?

“It would mean we are 1-0,” says Torillo. “It’s a non-league game and we are going to get better from it, and we are excited about that.”

The North will be led by returning seniors Joe Nusall (QB), Dylan Kelly (WR/DB) and Scott Becht (OL/LB).

Williamsville East will be the home team this time around; there should be a good crowd and atmosphere with the Flames’ new stadium and field complex completed. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm.

You can follow WNY Athletics’ Youtube and Twitter pages for live updates from Friday night’s game at Williamsville East, along with many other high school football games in Section VI.

Matthew Zygaj and Jonathon Simon contributed to this report

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