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Mustang gridders tame Tigers

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 20 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – DEFENSE: Medina’s Charles Beach tackles Akron ball carrier Garrett Schultz during the Mustangs 40-20 victory over the Tigers this evening at Vets Park.

Jumping out to an early two touchdown advantage, Medina went on to defeat Akron 40-20 this evening an in interdivisional game at Vets Park.

Improving to 3-0, Medina took just 55 seconds to get on the scoreboard as Dan Brown broke loose for a 63 yard touchdown run.

Kyle Barna quickly doubled the Mustangs advantage to 12-0 less than four minutes later as he used a nifty cutback move to key a 35 yard touchdown scamper.

Medina then had a golden opportunity to break the contest wide open early as Brown hooked up with Barna for a big 71 yard pass completion down to the Akron 5 yard line on a halfback option play. However, the Mustangs fumbled the ball away on the next snap.

Using a no huddle hurry up offense, Akron took advantage of the turnover by driving 95 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown on a four yard run by Austen Lauricella to cut the deficit to 12-6.

“We struck quickly and then got a little complacent,” Medina coach Eric Valley said. “But getting behind didn’t phase Akron. They came right back. We knew they would run a real up tempo offense and they were scrappy.”

Medina though answered back with two second quarter scores to move back out to a 26-6 half-time advantage.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – MUSTANG ON THE GALLOP: Ty Hrovat returns a kickoff for Medina.

First, Hellwig scored on a 4 yard touchdown run, a score he helped set up with pass completions of 28 yards to Lewis and 11 to Brown.

Then a huge hit by Barna forced an Akron fumble and Brown scooped up the ball and raced 60 yards for a touchdown. Hellwig added the two-point conversion pass to Lewis upping the lead to 26-6.

“We picked things up when we needed to,” Valley said.

Akron though refused to fold as the Tigers scored twice in the third quarter to slice the deficit to 26-20. Luricella caught a 57 yard pass for the first score and quarterback Brenden Weierheiser followed up with a 3 yard scoring run. Lauricella tacked on the extra point kick after both scores.

Weathering the storm, Medina again answered right back with clutch touchdown on a 8 yard pass from Hellwig to Ty Hrovat with 2:13 to go in the third quarter.A big 43 yard pass completion from Hellwig to Lewis keyed the drive. Brown added the two point conversion run boosting the Mustangs advantage to 34-20.

“Football is a game of adversity and we were in a tough position a couple of times but we came up with the big plays and stops when we needed it,” Valley said. “I’m real proud of the kids effort.”

The Mustangs then closed out the win with a seven minute long scoring drive in the fourth quarter capped off by a 10 yard Hellwig to Ben McPherson touchdown pass. Barna had runs of 20 and 11 yards and Brown a 16 yard carry to highlight the clinching drive.

The loss drops Akron to 1-2.

Medina, which had lost to Akron the last two years, now leads the all-time series with the Tigers 37-17-5.