WELLSVILLE — Wellsville is staring at its longest bus ride of the season tonight, a 100 mile trek that will likely take over two hours on the big yellow machine.

The ride home will go a lot quicker if the Lions bring back a win.

Someone will go home happy tonight as winless Wellsville and host Mynderse both look for their first victory of 2019.

For the Lions, the first challenge will be getting off the bus focused and ready to play four quarters of football.

“That’s going to be a key,” Wellsville coach Frank Brown said. “I’ll be preaching that tonight at our pregame practice and when we get on the bus tomorrow. When you have an away game like this, you’re talking 100 miles on a school bus. We have to mentally and emotionally get off the bus. We can’t wait to flip the switch in the second quarter or the second half, we have to do it as soon as we get off the bus. If we do that we’ll be successful.”

Mynderse and Wellsville have played four common opponents, with the the Devils losing all but one game this season by 40 or more points. That exception was a 13-0 loss to Wayland-Cohocton.

“They played Way-Co really tough from beginning to end, in kind of the same situation we had with Way-Co,” Brown said. “You can look at how they responded against a common opponent and kind of evaluate other areas, specifically offense.

“They’re in our division. They’re basically in the same situation we’re in with a really, really young team with just a handful of seniors in key positions. They have a lot of good up and coming skill position players just like we do. In some ways they’re a mirror to what we’re trying to do here.”

The Mynderse backfield is powered by a pair of seniors, with a junior playmaking quarterback and a wide receiver, Jared King, that is the go-to guy in the vertical passing game.

“They’re a run-first team,” Brown said. “They get it. In order to be successful you have to run the football. They have 100 percent tendencies for the run and the pass in certain formations, but it’s a new week and we’ll see what they have up their sleeve for us.”

Wellsville has been hit hard by injuries of late, forcing young players to step into bigger roles.

“We’re still the walking wounded a little bit,” Brown said. “Noah (Chaffee) is out indefinitely. Eagan (Enke) is a game-day decision. Hunter (Brandes) is 70-85 percent back. Wyatt Hyer is in the concussion protocol. Those are all seniors. We weren’t senior heavy to begin with, and we got really young but some guys are stepping up in practice to help fill those roles.

“Tyler Sands got in the game in the second half last week and did a nice job against Avon. He’s in the mix in the backfield and in our return game, and on our defense,” Brown added. “We’re looking for big things out of him. Some younger guys will be making debuts on special teams. Finn Stevens and Holden Perry are doing a nice job, to name a few. Some young guys are stepping up to fill in for our upperclassmen.”

A regular season win would go a long way for a young team that has worked hard to improve all season.

“A W is always a good thing,” Brown said. “I’ve been down this road before and I can see these guys still practicing hard from beginning to end and the wins are going to come. I’m confident in that. Hopefully it will happen Friday night.”