Mustangs blank Panthers in C North opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 September 2021 at 5:56 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina defensive lineman Chris Johnson reaches high to make a one handed  interception during the Mustangs win at Newfane this afternoon. The flag in the background was carried onto the field by the Newfane players for the pre game 9/11 remembrance ceremonies. 

Building up a 24-0 half-time advantage, Medina went on to shutout host Newfane 40-0 this afternoon as the Mustangs opened defense of their C North Division title.

Quarterback Xander Payne passed for three touchdowns, two to Greg Thompson and one to Joe Cecchini, and Robert Arnold ran for two scores to spearhead the Medina offense.

A nifty leaping one handed pass interception by defensive lineman Chris Johnson along with an interception by Iverson Poole and sacks by Cecchini and Dominic Larabee highlighted the shutout effort by the Mustangs defensive unit.

Joe Cecchini picks up yardage after hauling in a pass reception for Medina.

Medina jumped out to an 8-0 first quarter lead as Payne rolled out and connected with Cecchini who made a nice diving catch in the end zone to complete a 12 yard scoring strike and Arnold added the two-point conversion run.

Runs of 16 and 14 yards by Arnold, 14 by Noah Skinner and a 15 yard Payne to Skinner pass completion highlighted the 65 yard drive with the opening kickoff.

The Mustangs then broke the contest open with two quick scores within a span of four minutes midway through the second quarter to open up the 24-0 lead.

Arnold ran 13 yards for the first touchdown and Poole added the two-point conversion carry. Pass completions by Payne of 16 yards to Arnold and 14 to Thompson along with 11 yard runs by both Poole and Skinner keyed the drive.

Payne then hooked up with Thompson on a 55 yard pass play for the second TD as Arnold added the two-point conversion to make it 24-0.

Arnold opened Medina’s second half scoring with a 10 yard TD run with 2:21 to go in the third period as Cayden Lilleby added the two-point conversion run. Skinner had a 15 yard run and Payne a 12 yard pass completion to Jarin Rhim to highlight the 74 yard drive.

Thompson then rounded out the Mustangs scoring parade when he hauled in a 20 yard TD pass from Payne on the final play of the third quarter as Arnold added the two-point conversion.

The interception by Johnson who returned the ball some 20 yards to the Panthers 20 set up the scoring opportunity.

Medina, which next visits Lackawanna at 1 p.m. next Saturday for an interdivisional game, is now 2-0 overall and Newfane 0-2.

Wilson 20, Cleve Hill 0

In another C North contest, Wilson (1-0, 2-0) blanked host Cleveland Hill (0-1, 1-1) 20-0 as quarterback Tyler Yousett threw three touchdown passes, two to Chris Dispenza and one to Luke Atlas.

Greg Thompson breaks loose for a 55 yard touchdown pass reception for Medina.