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Mustang gridders look to keep rolling against Tigers

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – MUSTANG SIGNAL-CALLER: Medina quarterback Jason Hellwig (12) and his Mustang teammates will host Akron at 7:30 p.m. Friday looking for a third straight win. Albion will visit Cheektowaga and Barker/Roy-hart travels to Amherst Friday while Holley hosts Elba/Byron-Bergen Saturday.

Off to a strong start both offensively and defensively, Medina will look to make it three straight season opening home field victories as the Mustangs host Akron in an interdivisional game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Vets Park.

Friday’s B North Division contests will have Albion at Cheektowaga at 7 p.m. and Barker/Roy-Hart at Amherst at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, Holley will debut its new field as the Hawks host Elba/Byron-Bergen at 1:30 p.m. in a Genesee Region League contest.

Led by junior quarterback Jason Hellwig the Medina offensive unit is averaging a whopping 46 points per outing after wins over Amherst (48-6) and Maryvale (44-14).

“With Jason back we’ve really had a smooth transition ,” said Medina coach Eric Valley. “We scored a lot of points last year and it’s nice it has carried over. We’ve had some guys step in to fill holes caused by graduation and it’s nice to have a lot of guys we have confidence in to spread the ball around.”

Hellwig has completed 21 of 31 passes for 385 yards and five touchdowns including two to Dylan Lewis and one each to Kyle Barna, Ben McPherson and Drake Grabowski. Barna has also rushed for four touchdowns and has 10 catches for 185 yards.

Dan Brown leads the Medina rushers with 304 yards and has scored two touchdowns.

The Mustangs defensive unit is also off to a strong start giving up an average of only 10 points per game.

Leading tacklers for the Mustangs include Brandon Schoolcraft with 22, Charles Beach 17, Thomas Follman 17, Barna 14, Brown 11 and Eric Neace 10.

Akron brings a 1-1 record into the contest having romped past Wilson 45-6 in the season opener but lost to Cleveland Hill 28-13 last weekend.

“Akron has been a very notoriously physical team and we expect the same this year,” Valley said. “They try to spread it out so we’ll have to shift gears defensively.”

Akron has won the last two meetings 20-12 in 2011 and 34-22 last fall but Medina holds a 36-17-5 lead in the long series which dates back to 1901.

For Albion it’s been a tale of two drastically different weeks to open the season. The Purple Eagles blanked Barker/Roy-Hart 32-0 in the opener but then were blitzed 48-0 by Burgard of Buffalo last weekend as five turnovers helped open the scoring floodgates for the visiting Bulldogs.

Albion will be visiting a Cheektowaga squad that is 1-0 in the B-North and 1-1 overall. The Warriors shut-out Bennett of Buffalo 20-0 last week after opening the season with a narrow 13-12 loss to Jamesville-Dewitt in the Carrier Classic at Syracuse.

“We took one on the chin pretty good last week from a good Burgard team and now we’ve got to bounce back,” Albion Coach Tony Osburn said. “This is a great opportunity against a very good Cheektowaga team, Last week we turned the ball over and gave Burgard a short field and you can’t do that against a good team. Against Cheektowaga we’ve got to contain their speed and very simply we’ve got to tackle. We have to be in the right position and tackle.”

At Amherst both the host Tigers and Barker/Roy-Hart will be looking to snap season opening two game losing streaks. Barker/Roy-Hart is also looking to rebound from losses to Albion and Lew-Port (30-16) as is Amherst from set backs to Medina and Williamsville East (34-9).

Holley likewise is looking to rebound from two season opening losses (52-0 to Notre Dame and 39-0 to Attica).

Holley suffered several injuries at Attica last weekend which left the Hawks short handed and caused the contest to be halted at the half.