Medina to visit top seeded Alden in sectional opener
Making their 10th appearance in the 35 year history off the Section VI playoffs, B North No. 4 seed Medina visits B South No. 1 seed Alden at 7 p.m. Friday in the Class B quarterfinals.
Three-time defending sectional champion Alden brings a 7-0 record into the playoffs while Medina is at 4-3 after outlasting rival Albion 38-31 last weekend to earn the sectional berth.
“It’s great to get in the sectionals and the kids are really excited,” Medina coach Eric Valley said. “Hopepfully we can keep the momentum from last week.”
Quarterback Brian Stoldt leads the offense for Alden which has shown the ability to rally late to earn victories as evidenced by scores in the final seconds to defeat both Hutch-Tech (22-20) and Eden (22-15) with just 47 and 19 seconds remaining respectively.
“Alden is big, physical, fast up front so we have to contain them,” Medina coach Eric Valley said. “They’ve come-from-behind to win some close games so they’ve shown they are never out of a game.”
Junior quarterback Jason Hellwig, who has become Medina’s career touchdown pass leader with 29, leads the Mustangs attack. Hellwig has thrown 13 TD passes to date this season including five to Dylan Lewis, three to Kyle Barna, two to Ben McPherson and one each to Dan Brown, Drake Grabowski and Ty Hrovat.
Barna, who has rushed for eight touchdowns, has a total of 11 TDs while Brown, who has rushed for six, has a total of nine.
“We have to play four great quarters,” Valley said. “We want to start real strong like we did last week and set the pace.”
In their nine previous appearances, the Mustangs have captured a sectional three times in 1980, 1982 and 1988.
In fact this marks the 25th anniversary of the historic contest which saw Medina edge past Albion 14-7 for the 1988 sectional title at then Rich, now Ralph Wilson, Stadium.
Here’s a brief look back at Medina’s previous sectional appearances.
Medina 20, Silver Creek 14
Medina made a successful sectional debut by edging past Siver Creek 20-14 for the championship at Rich Stadium.
Quarterback Kevin Furness ran five yards for the winning touchdown after running back Eddie Bloom had scored twice on runs of 75 and 61 yards to help pull the Mustangs even at 14-14.
Medina 26 Cassadaga Valley 7
Running back David Fluellen had a huge day rushing for 233 yards and four touchdowns as Medina capped off a perfect 9-0 season with a 26-7 sectional title victory over Cassadaga Valley at Rich Stadium.
Salamanca 29, Medina 7
Medina met its first post season defeat dropping a 29-7 decision to Salamanca in the semifinals. The Mustangs lone score came on a touchdown pass from quarterback Bill Ossont Jr. to Paul Valley.
In the championship game, Albion defeated Salamanca 15-8.
Medina 18, Cheektowaga 6
Medina 14, Albion 7
Running back Jim Snyder scored two touchdowns and quarterback Brian Fuller passed to Jody Sargent for another to lead Medina to a 18-6 victory over Cheektowaga in the semifinals at Vets Park.
Snyder then scored on a 39 yard run in the fourth quarter and caught a two-point conversion pass from Fuller to rally Medina from a 7-6 deficit to a 14-7 sectional championship win over rival Albion at Rich Stadium.
Snyder also scored Medina’s first touchdown while Albion scored on a one yard run by Chris Rogers and an extra point kick by Kurt Jaeger.
Springville 33, Medina 0
Springville exploded for three first quarter touchdowns, two off turnovers, to key the semifinal victory over Medina at Vets Park.
Lackawanna 38, Medina 8
Three long touchdown drives propelled Lackawanna out to a commanding 22-0 lead as the Steelers went on to down visiting Medina 37-8 in the semifinals.
Southwestern 27, Medina 0
Southwestern scored touchdowns on its first three possession in route to a 27-0 semifinal win over visiting Medina.
East Aurora 29, Medina 25
In one of the wildest Section VI playoff games ever, both teams scored a touchdown in the final 50 seconds with East Aurora escaping with a narrow 29-25 semifinal victory over visiting Medina.
Medina took a 25-22 lead with 50 seconds remaining on a 17 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Evans to Nick Peterson. However, East Aurora answered right back as a long 56 yard pass completion set up the winning seven yard TD pass with just 22 seconds to go.
Evans did complete two long passes in the final seconds but the game ended with Medina at the East Aurora 28 yard line.
Pioneer 24, Medina 16
Pioneer exploded for three first quarter touchdowns and a 24-0 semifinal lead that visiting Medina could not overcome.
The Mustangs closed the gap to 24-16 after touchdown runs by Dave Stupnick and Shane Kruger but could get no closer.