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Albion, Medina face must win road tests

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 10 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – BIG WEEKEND UPCOMING: Albion quarterback John Warne, shown here following a block by Dylan Burkhardt (64) and their Purple Eagle teammates face a key B North contest at Lew-Port Friday night. Medina also faces a must win B North game against Bennett at Buffalo’s All High Stadium Saturday afternoon.

It’s a well worn sports cliché but Albion and Medina most certainly both face must win B North Division road games this weekend as the Purple Eagles and Mustangs fight to stay in the hunt for a sectional playoff berth.

Currently four teams – Albion, Medina, Lew-Port and Bennett – are all deadlocked in the race for the division’s final two Class B sectional berths with identical 2-2 records. Undefeated front-runners Burgard (5-0) and Cheektowaga (4-0) have locked up the top two spots.

In a schedule makers dream late season matchup the four deadlocked teams meet this weekend as Albion visits Lew-Port at 7 p.m. Friday and Medina travels to All High Stadium in Buffalo to face Bennett at 2 p.m. Saturday. The division title also will be decided Saturday as Burgard visits Cheektowaga.

“It’s a must win for us, absolutely,” Medina coach Eric Valley said.

“It’s definitely playoff football from here out and that’s our focus,” concurred Albion coach Tony Osburn. “Each and every game is a must win from here out.”

Both Albion and Medina control their own destiny as if successful this weekend they will face each other at Albion on Oct. 18 in the regular season finale for what could be a battle for a playoff spot.

“Controlling our own fate is definitely a good position to be in,” said Osburn.

“If we win the next two we’re in,” agreed Valley.

Medina, which is looking to snap a two game losing streak, faces Bennett for the first time ever on the gridiron, a skid during which turnovers and special team miscues have proven costly.

“They are very fast and physical with a swarming defense that comes at you from all directions,” Valley said. “We just have to play much more disciplined football and eliminate mistakes.”

Looking to get back on the winning track, the Medina offense is led by quarterback Jason Hellwig who has thrown 11 touchdown passes including four to Dylan Lewis, two to Kyle Barna and Ben McPherson and one each to Dan Brown, Drake Grabowski and Ty Hrovat. Barna has scored a team leading total of eight touchdowns and Brown seven.

Albion, which is looking to extend a two game winning streak, has a 5-1 series record lead against Lew-Port. The Lancers though won the most recent meeting in 2010 by a 27-14 margin.

“They are fast and physical,” Osburn said. “We will have our hands full this weekend.”

In Albion’s 39-6 romp over Maryvale last weekend the Purple Eagles struck often both through the air and on the ground as running back Ed Wolfe rushed for 272 yards and four touchdowns and quarterback John Warne completed 11 of 20 passes for 206 yards including TD passes of 16 and 12 yards to Trey Hart.

Barker/Roy-Hart will look to halt a season long five game losing streak at Wilson at 7 p.m. Friday in an interdivisional game.

In the Genesee Region League, Holley will also seek its first win of the season as the Hawks visit Pembroke (0-4, 1-4) at 7 p.m. Friday.

It has been a tough season for the the Hawks as after injuries reduced the varsity squad to only a dozen players following a third week loss to Attica the entire JV team was brought up to bolster the roster enough to keep the varsity season going. And that young group is seeing plenty of action including sophomore Nick Passarell at quarterback and sophomores Clarence Moyer and Adam Stetzel and freshman Zach Day at running back.

B-North Standings

Burgard 5-0, 5-0, Cheektowaga 4-0, 4-1, Albion 2-2, 3-2, Medina 2-2, 3-2, Lew-Port 2-2, 3-2, Bennett 2-2, 2-3, Amherst 1-3, 14, Maryvale 1-3, 1-4, Barker/Roy-Hart 0-5, 0-5.

G-R Standings

Notre Dame 5-0, 5-0, Alexander 3-1, 4-1, Attica 3-1, 4-1, Oakfield-Alabama 2-2, 3-2, Elba/Byron-Bergen 2-3, 2-3, Pembroke 0-4, 1-4, Holley 0-5, 0-5.