Medina MAC gridders had three title seasons

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 September 2020 at 10:19 am

Contributed Photo – The Medina MAC’s 1952 championship football team included, in front, John Hydock, John Balcerzak, Fran Balcerzak, Walt Wanecski, Fran Moriarty, Chuck Mancuso, Phil LaMachia, Tom Maryjanowski, Burr Breed and Roger Houseman. In the middle row are Gerald Schuyler, George Miller, Jim Carroll, D. Thompson, Dom Terra, Tony Balcerzak, Gene Kujawa, Steve Champlin Jr. and Walt Poodry. In the back row are Merle Fredericks, Joe (Williams) Szczechewiak, Jack Stillwell, Joe Lewandowski, Ray Smith, Bill Eaton, Ed Cotriss, Leonard Balcerzak, Dave Gardner and Coach Bob Breitsman. Missing from the photo were Dick Paul, Ed Middlestedt, Chet Potrubacz, Gerald Trombley, Rich Mancuso and Fritz Price.

During their 16 years of competition (1946-1961) the Medina MACs semi pro football team enjoyed three championship seasons.

Interestingly, those title campaigns all came within a span of just four years – 1949, 1951 and 1952,

The MAC Bulldogs, as the team was called, captured the 1949 Western New York Upstate Football Conference championship by defeating Batavia 12-0 in the playoff title game after the two teams had finished the regular season with identical 4-2 records. The teams split a pair of regular season meeting with Medina taking the first 25-6 and Batavia the second 26-7.

A 42 yard first quarter field goal by Roger Houseman proved to be all of the points the MACs would need in the title contest. Houseman also caught a 60 yard touchdown pass from Tom Maryjanowski in the second quarter and added the extra point kick. The Bulldogs other two points came on a safety.

The MACs most successful season came in 1951 when they went 9-0 capturing both the WNY Football Conference regular season and playoff championships.

The MACs captured the regular season title in dramatic fashion by rallying for two touchdowns in the final two minutes to edge Blasdell 18-13 in the regular season finale.

The Bulldogs closed to within a point at 13-12 on a touchdown run by Dickie Paul.

Then, after Ed Cotriss recovered the ensuing onside kick, the Bulldogs pulled out the incredible victory on a touchdown pass from Francis “Mo” Moriarty to Warren “Burr” Breed with only seconds remaining.

The MACs then completed their perfect 9-0 season by blanking Blasdell 18-0 in the playoff championship game on snow covered Vets Park in mid November. “Mo” Moriarty threw touchdown passes to Breed, Houseman and Ed Mittlestedt to earn the title.

Stretching their undefeated string to 20 games, the Bulldogs successfully defended their WNY Football Conference regular season title in 1952.

The Bulldogs romped past the Olean Rockets 37-8 in the regular season finale to retain the title as Maryjanowski threw four touchdown passes including two to Breed and one each to Houseman and Mancuso.

A narrow 26-24 win over the Dekdebruns of Buffalo the week before set up the title opportunity. Houseman caught three TD passes.

The MACs then defeated the Dekdebruns again 19-7 in the playoff semifinals as Maryjanowski threw two touchdown passes to Breed and one to Houseman.

However, the MACs bid for a second straight playoff title was dashed as Blasdell avenged the 1951 title loss by downing the Bulldogs 25-6 at Vets Park. A Maryjanowski to Houseman TD pass accounted for the MACs only points.

The Bulldogs finished the season with a 10-1-1 overall record.