Albion to host Cheektowaga in Class B semis
Taking aim at earning a trip to the finals for the first time in 16 years, top seeded Albion will host No. 4 Cheektowaga in the semifinals of the Section VI Class B playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday.
Albion, which last reached the title contest in 2002, advanced to the semis by defeating No. 8 Lackawanna 34-14 while Cheektowaga romped past No. 5 Dunkirk 40-8.
Quarterback Bryce Pritchard passed for 3 touchdowns, 2 to Nate Moore and 1 to Matt Kovaleski, to lead the Albion offense. Kovaleski also had a key 85 yard kickoff return for a touchdown which helped break the contest open.
Cheektowaga quarterback Keshone Beal likewise had a big game in Cheektowaga’s win as he ran for 4 touchdowns and passed for another.
On the season, Pritchard has thrown for a total of 10 touchdowns and rushed for 7 more. Brilliance Johnson also has 7 rushing touchdowns and Ugene Harrison 6 while Moore has caught 7 TD passes.
On defense, Ben Restivo leads the Purple Eagles in tackles with 69 while Deyonci Farley has 45, Harrison 42, Jessy Cruz 40, Donamic Farley 37, Brennan Hughes 34 and Moore 33. Jonathan DePuy has registered 6 sacks and Restivo and Hughes 5 each.
This will be the third postseason meetings between the teams. Cheektowaga has won the previous two 10-3 in the 2009 semifinals and 43-18 in the 2011 quarterfinals. Overall Albion holds a 12-10 lead in the all-time series with Cheektowaga.
The victor will face the winner of the Fredonia (8-0) vs. Pioneer (8-0) semifinal in the championship game.
Class B Consolation Bowl
Medina/Lyndonville/Barker will face a longtime foe in the finals of the Class B Chuck Funke Memorial Consolation Bowl as the Mustangs visit Newfane at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The Mustangs defeated Burgard 28-22 and the Panthers downed Iroquois 54-22 in the semifinals.
Both teams bring 4-4 records into the finals.
Quarterback Izaiah Rhim, who has passed for 10 touchdowns and run for 10 more, leads the Mustangs offense. Brian Fry has caught 35 passes for 501 yards and 5 touchdowns while William Braswell has rushed for 392 yards and scored 3 TDs.
Jaden Heers has rushed for 870 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Panthers while Reese Casinelli has 12 catches for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns and Josh Everett 12 for 190 yards and 2 TDs.
This will be the 55th meeting between the teams as the Mustangs hold a 43-9-2 lead over the Panthers. However, Newfane won the most recent meeting by a 34-6 margin last fall.