Lancers upend Mustangs
Unable to rebound from a disastrous first quarter, Medina saw a last ditch rally fall just short as the Mustangs dropped a wild 31-30 Homecoming game decision to Lew-Port at Vets Park this evening in a B North Division contest.
Medina, which fell behind by a 19-0 margin in the first quarter as Lew-Port capitalized on two fumbles and a botched kickoff, did rally for two touchdowns in the final seven minutes but came up a point short as a two-point converse attempt failed after the second score.
Setting an ominous tone for the nightmare first quarter, Medina literally mis-kicked the opening kickoff which Lew-Port recovered at the Mustangs 40. The Lancers offensive unit quickly drove in for a touchdown.
Medina then lost fumbles deep in Mustang territory on the next two possessions and again Lew-Port capitalized to score two touchdowns and open up a 19-0 lead.
“That start just killed us,” Medina coach Eric Valley said. “You can’t do those things against a good team. After that we had to play catch up.”
Medina did cut the deficit a bit to 19-8 at the half on a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jason Hellwig to Dylan Lewis and a two-point conversion pass from Hellwig to Kyle Barna. A 23 yard run by Dan Brown highlighted the drive.
Keeping the momentum, Medina took the second half kickoff and drove 65 yards in 12 plays for a score. Brown capped off the march with a 6 yard touchdown run and Hellwig hooked up with Brett Pecoraro for the two-point conversion to rally the Mustangs to within three at 19-16. Hellwig had pass completions of 7 yards to Lewis and 10 to Barna and a 10 yard run to key the drive.
However, Lew-Port answered right back with a pair of huge touchdown plays on a 60 yard run by Noah Swenson and a 93 yard pass reception by Dan Hogan to roar back out to a 31-16 advantage as the fourth quarter got under way.
Medina though did come battling back with a pair of late scores to make the finish exciting.
First, Hellwig connected with Lewis for a 27 yard touchdown pass with 9:29 remaining. Brown added the two-point conversion run to cut the deficit to 31-24. A big kickoff return by Brown to the Medina 45 gave the Mustangs good field possession to start the drive.
Medina got the ball right back when Noah Banazwski recovered a Lew-Port fumble at the Lancers 36. That turnover set up a 10 yard touchdown run by Barna with 7:42 to go. However, the Mustangs botched the two-point conversion attempt leaving Lew-Port now clinging to a narrow 31-30 lead.
“Lew-Port did a nice job defensively on that play,” Valley said. “They shot the A gap and that cost us the game.”
Again, Medina got the ball right back as Trevor Bentley recovered a successful onside kick at the Lew-Port 43. The Mustangs though were unable to capitalize as a fumble, which they did recover, lost big yardage forcing a punt.
Once again though the Medina defense came up with a big turnover as Josh Cuadrado recovered a Lew-Port fumble at the Lancers 34 with 1:56 remaining.
The Mustangs drove the ball to the Lew-Port 18 when disaster struck in the form of an interception in the end zone which preserved the Lancers narrow victory.
“We picked things up in the second half but we made too many mistakes and had some bad plays and Lew-Port made us pay for those mistakes,” Valley said.
Lew-Port improves to 2-2 in the division and 3-2 overall while Medina slips to 2-2 and 3-2.
Medina next visits Bennett on Saturday while Lew-Port hosts Albion on Friday.