Dunkirk edges past Albion to claim B-2 title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 7 October 2017 at 12:21 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion quarterback Bryce Pritchard breaks loose for a 75 yard touchdown run in the first two minutes of the game at Dunkirk as Marauder defenders Brian Cox and Darnell Butts pursue. The Purple Eagles dropped a 18-15 decision to the Marauders in the contest for the B-2 Division title.

A late comeback bid fell just short as Albion dropped a narrow 18-15 decision to host Dunkirk Friday night in a key clash of unbeatens to claim the B-2 Division title.

Trailing 18-7, Albion got right back into the game when Ugene Harrison scored on a 14 yard run and Demetrius Gardner added the two-point conversion carry with 8:40  remaining to slice the deficit to 18-15.

A big 41 yard pass completion from quarterback Bryce Pritchard to JaQuess Harrison highlighted that quick four play scoring drive.

Rising to the occasion the Purple Eagles defense then came up with a big stop near midfield forcing a Dunkirk punt with 5:48 still to go.

Taking over at their own 12, the Purple Eagles offense moved out to the 40 as Ugene Harrison and Gardner alternated toting the ball.

Albion’s Demetius Gardner tries to go around Dunkirk defender Malique Carter.

Pritchard then completed a pass to Ugene Harrison who broke loose and raced into the end zone for what would have been the go-ahead touchdown. However, the tally was wiped out by a penalty though Albion did pick up 18 on the play down to the Dunkirk 44. It was the second time on the evening that the Purple Eagles had a TD wiped out by a penalty.

Runs of 9 and 6 yards by Brilliance Johnson helped Albion drive to the Dunkirk 25 where the Marauders defense stiffened and the drive and the Purple Eagles comeback hopes ended with 1:02 remaining.

Albion had jumped out to a lightning quick 7-0 lead at the outset as Pritchard rolled out and unable to find a receiver sprinted around his left end and down the far sideline for 75 yards and a touchdown just 1:18 into the game. Justin Robinson added the extra point kick.

Dunkirk though answered right back with back-to-back long ground oriented scoring drives both capped off by 1-yard touchdown runs by quarterback Jaziah Rivera to give the Marauders a 12-7 lead at the half.

Quantavis Kleckley had runs of 11, 16 and 12 yards to key the first scoring drive and of 18 and 22 on the second.

Albion did drive deep into Dunkirk territory just before half-time as Pritchard had pass completions of 13 yards to Tim Wells and 18 to Ugene Harrison.

However, the Purple Eagles hopes of grabbing the lead where dashed as a penalty wiped out a touchdown run by Pritchard.

The Purple Eagles defense came up with a huge turnover midway through the third quarter when Johnson recovered a Dunkirk fumble at the Albion 5 yard line.

Bolstered by that turnover, the Albion offense then put together a long 18 play drive which finally stalled out at the Dunkirk 18 after a big loss on a sack.

The Dunkirk offense then wasted little time in scoring what proved to be the game winning touchdown driving 73 yards on just three plays. Kleckley carried the ball on each of those plays for gains of 10, 27 and then 36 for the TD and an 18-7 lead with 10:14 to go in the final period.

That set the stage for Albion’s comeback bid which fell just short on fourth down deep in Dunkirk territory with just over a minute to go.

Dunkirk improves to 4-0 in the division and 6-0 overall.

Albion finished the B-2 Division season at 4-1 and is now 5-1 overall.

The Purple Eagles will close out the regular season by hosting rival Medina/Lyndonville next Friday night.

Albion’s Ugene Harrison carries through the line to score the Purple Eagles second touchdown.