Fredonia trims Medina in Class C semifinal

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 4 November 2022 at 10:53 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Noah Cudzilo goes high to catch a pass that he took in for a touchdown during the Mustangs 29-22 loss to Fredonia in the Section VI Class C semifinal this evening at Vets Park. Defending for Fredonia is Micah Davis.

Avenging a lopsided loss in last year’s title contest, No. 5 seed Fredonia edged top seeded Medina 29-22 in the Section VI Class C semifinals this evening at Vets Park.

Trailing 22-21, Fredonia regained the lead for good in the sea-saw contest on a 13 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ethan Fry to Davion White and a two-point conversion pass from Fry to Jameson Quinn with 4:21 remaining in the fourth quarter. Micah Davis had a 22 yard run and Fry pass completions of 13 and 10 yards to highlight the drive.

The Hillbillies quickly regained possession just two plays after the ensuing kickoff as a fumble recovery by Keegan Whitfield at the Fredonia 35 ending Medina’s final possession.

Fredonia then capped off the win by running out the final three minutes as Davis had a key three yard run on fourth down to keep the drive alive.

“They have a very good football team,” said Medina Coach Eric Valley. “You have to play your best game against a team like that and they played better than we did. It was a tough one but I’m very proud of our kids.”

Medina took the lead for the last time at 22-21 after a 27 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aiden Pitts to Noah Cudzilo and a two-point conversion carry by Pitts with 6:35 remaining. A 28 yard run by Amari Soule and a 15 yard personal foul penalty on Fredonia keyed that drive.

The contest was deadlocked at 14-14 going into the wild fourth quarter which saw the lead change hands after each of the period’s three touchdowns.

Fredonia broke that 14-14 deadlock just 2:01 into the quarter on a 22 yard touchdown pass from Fry to Jay Hawk and an extra point kick by Sai Tabone for a 21-14 lead.

The Hillbillies had controlled the ball for most of a scoreless third quarter driving deep into Medina territory twice, first to the 7 and then to the 18.

However, the Medina defense rose to the challenge stopping both drives with pass interceptions first by Kaedon Cleveland in the endzone and then by Cudzilo at the 7.

Fredonia also scored first in the contest as Davis tallied on a 6 yard run and Tabone added the extra point kick for a 7-0 lead with 4:10 to go in the opening quarter. Fry had a 22 yard run and a 33 yard pass completion to Hawk to key the drive.

Medina though answered right back to knot the contest at 7-7 on a 32 yard touchdown run by Noah Skinner and an extra point kick by Cole Callard with 42 seconds to go in the period.

The Mustangs defense set up that opportunity on a fumble recovery by Roosevelt Mitchell at the Hillbillies 40 yard line.

Medina took the lead for the first time at 14-7 midway through the second quarter on a 5 yard touchdown run by Pitts and an extra point kick by Callard. Pitts had a 17 yard run and a big 57 yard pass completion to Julian Woodworth to highlight the drive.

Sparked by a 26 yard pass completion from Pitts to Soule, Medina drove inside the Fredonia 35 on their next possession only to have a lost fumble wipe out the opportunity.

Fredonia capitalized on the turnover as Fry hooked up with Davis for a 14 yard touchdown pass and Tabone again added the extra point kick to retie the contest at 14-14 with 1:27 to go in the first half. Fry had pass completions of 29, 17 and 13 yards to key the drive.

The contest remained deadlocked at 14-14 going into the decisive fourth quarter which saw the Hillbillies outscore the Mustangs 15-8 to claim the win and avenge a 58-6 loss to the Mustangs in last year’s title game played in a snowstorm  at Highmark Stadium.

Fredonia, which is now 9-1, will face the winner of Saturday’s semifinal between No. 2 Lackawanna and No. 3 Salamanca in the Class C title contest next Thursday at Highmark Stadium.

Medina, which has captured the last two Class C titles, finishes the season at 8-2.

Medina’s Noah Skinner breaks free for a first quarter touchdown.

Medina’s Julian Woodworth takes a pass reception for 57 yards.

Medina defender Ollie Wilson holds onto Fredonia quarterback Ethan Fry as Brody Fry comes in to help.