Dunkirk gridders edge past Albion
A last minute rally fell just short as Albion dropped a narrow 22-20 decision to visiting Dunkirk this evening in the semifinals of the Section VI Class B Chuck Funke Memorial Consolation Bowl.
Trailing 22-14, Albion sliced the deficit to just two with just 46 seconds to go on a 35 yard touchdown run by quarterback Kyle Smith. A 35 yard Smith to Manwell Taylor pass on the preceding snap set up the tally.
However, the Purple Eagles run attempt for the two-point conversion fell just short enabling the Mauraders to maintain a slender 22-20 lead.
Dunkirk then put a lock on the win by recovering Albion’s ensuing on side kick attempt.
Albion had jumped out to a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter on a 49 yard touchdown run by Tyler Rotoli and an extra point kick by Alex Bison. A 39 yard pass completion from Smith to Trey Hart set up the opportunity.
Dunkirk used a big special team play, a 55 yard punt return for a touchdown by Richard Pickens, to briefly gain the lead at 8-7 with 1:49 to go in the opening half as Miguel Alicea added the two-point conversion run.
However, Albion answered right back with a 15 yard touchdown pass from Smith to Manny Thompson with 47 seconds to go to regain a 14-8 lead at the half as Bison again added the extra point kick. A 34 yard pass completion from Smith to Des Blackmon along with a 15 yard penalty against Dunkirk set up the threat.
The Purple Eagles though could not find the end zone again until the final minute of the game as Dunkirk used two long ground attack drives in the second half to regain the lead for good.
First, Leroy Gilbert scored on a 1 yard touchdown run with 8:13 to go in the third quarter to pull Dunkirk even at 14-14. Then, Tristan Peck scored on s 20 yard run with 5:41 to go in the fourth quarter to put the Mauraders back on top to stay at 22-14 as Alicea added what proved to be the deciding two-point conversion run.
Two pass interceptions by Hart, along with a fumble recovery by Mike Laine, highlighted the defensive effort for Albion which also had Aaron Burnside and Nate Trembly in double figures for tackles.
Albion finishes the season at 4-4 while Dunkirk advances to next week’s Class B Consolation Bowl final against the winner of the Olean vs. Alden game.