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Marking the 50th anniversary of a memorable Purple Eagles, Mustangs gridiron meeting

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 17 October 2019 at 12:16 pm

Contributed Photos – Neil “Ned” Parker boots a field goal out of the hold of quarterback Bruce Good during Albion’s memorable 9-0 victory over Medina in 1969, the last time the rivals met on Albion’s old Alumni Field.

Old Alumni Field was the site on a cold, drizzly Saturday afternoon 50 years ago that host Albion ended a 10 year long victory drought against rival Medina by a 9-0 margin.

That memorable 1969 contest was the last between the Purple Eagles and Mustangs on Alumni Field which is probably best remembered for its concrete bleachers built into the side of a nearby knoll.

The Alumni Field site is now occupied by a portion of the high school building and the boiler plant building. The current Spierdowis Field, which is named in honor of the long time Albion Coach Mike Spierdowis, became the Purple Eagles new football home in 1973.

Albion, which had lost 10 straight to Medina (1959-1968) claimed that elusive drought ending victory on muddy Alumni Field as Neil “Ned” Parker kicked a 28 yard field goal in the second quarter and quarterback Bruce Good ran two yards for an insurance touchdown in the third quarter.

Turnovers keyed both scores as the recovery of a fumbled Medina punt set up the field goal and a lost Medina fumble, which was recovered by Jerry Vandetti who returned it to the Mustangs 2 yard line, set up the touchdown.

Prior to that the Purple Eagles last win over the Mustangs had come in 1958 by a score of 26-0.

The coaching matchup that afternoon had first year Albion mentor Larry Graham facing John “Pinky”Loughlin who was in his 15th season at the Medina helm.

The victory earned Albion second place in the final Niagara-Orleans League standings at 5-1 behind only undefeated (6-0) champion Roy-Hart while Medina wound up at 3-3. The Purple Eagles only N-O setback was a narrow 6-0 loss to the champion Rams.

The Purple Eagles and Mustangs will renew their rivalry for the 122nd time at 7 p.m. Friday on Spierdowis Field.

Albion’s old Alumni Field with its concrete bleachers is shown here in a circa 1970 photo with a portion of the middle school visible at the right.