Medina set to face Salamanca for Section VI Class C title Friday at Highmark Stadium

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 8 November 2023 at 10:06 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Quarterback Julian Woodworth will lead the Medina offense into Friday’s sectional championship game against Salamanca at Highmark Stadium.

Looking to keep the momentum from back-to-back shutout playoff victories, Medina will now face Salamanca for the Section VI Class C championship at 1 p.m. Friday at Highmark Stadium.

It marks the second title trip to the stadium in three years for the Mustangs which the last time defeated Fredonia 58-6 in a snowstorm in 2021.

“Getting a chance to play at Highmark stadium is an amazing experience for everyone in our program,” said Medina Coach Eric Valley. “Because we were there 2 years ago we still have a handful of kids that got the opportunity to play there already. For some it’s completely new… so we need to rely on our seniors to keep their composure in a game of this magnitude, and lead by example on the field.”

C North Division champion Medina brings a 10-0 record into the title contest while C South Division champ Salamanca is 8-2.

The Mustangs advanced by blanking Southwestern 21-0 in the semifinals while the Warriors ousted Portville 35-24.

The victor advances to the Class C Far West Regional on November 18 at Williamsville South.

Leading the Salamanca offense is the two quarterback tandem of Jaxon Rose, who has thrown for 765 yards and 10 touchdowns and Maddox Isaac who has passed for 593 yards and 7 TD. Their leading receivers have been Lucus Brown (17 catches for 444 yards and 8 TD) and Arlen Newark (22 catches for 400 yards and 5 TD). Isaac has also rushed for 357 yards and 6TD, Joshua Auman 393 yards and 4TD and Zachary Trietley 148 yards and 5 TD.

“I expect Salamanca to have a balanced attack offensively and spread the ball around to their playmakers. They have been consistent all year and have some big play potential in the passing game as well as the return game,” said Valley. ” Defensively they are very solid up front and fly to the football. The team is very discipled and has won several close games, so they know how to come up with big plays in big games.”

Quarterback Julian Woodworth, who has rushed for 508 yards and 10 TD and passed for 634 yards and 6 TD, leads the Medina attack. The Mustangs offense has also been sparked by Noah Cudzilo with 157 yards receiving and 4TD and 413 yards rushing and 6 TD, Christian Moss 1,251 yards rushing and 15 TD and Justin Pitts and Brody Fry with 1 TD reception each.

Keying that ground oriented Mustangs attack has been the front line of Sawyer Kingsbury, Kole Campbell, Ethan Carson, Xavier King and Roosevelt Mitchell along with tight ends Breydin McEwen-Miller and Carter Woodworth.

“Offensively We need to be solid at the point of attack and maintain our blocks, hang on to the ball, and minimize penalties, ” said Valley. “Defensively everyone need to do their part and swarm to the football.”

This marks just the second time that Medina has faced Salamanca in the sectionals. The first came in 1987 when the Warriors downed the Mustangs 29-7 in the semifinals at Salamanca.

The Mustangs are 4-0 in their previous title game trips to the stadium having defeated Silver Creek 20-14 in 1980, Cassadaga Valley 26-7 in 1982, Albion 14-7 in 1988 and Fredonia 58-6 in 2021.

In addition, Medina also captured the sectional title during the abbreviated 2021 spring season when the Mustangs defeated Southwestern 21-13 at Vets Park. The spring season was held after the fall 2020 season was cancelled due to Covid 19 restrictions.

Wilson in Class D final

No. 3 seed Wilson will face top seeded Clymer/Sherman/Panama for the Section VI Class D title at 5 p.m. Thursday at Highmark Stadium.

Wilson advanced by posting a 21-20 semifinal win over Franklinville/Ellicottville which avenged a 41-20 regular season loss.

CSP downed Wilson during the regular season 41-13.