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Mustangs face must win game vs. Steelers

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 3 October 2018 at 6:16 pm

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina/Lyndonville/Barker defenders Jacob Golding, Izaiah Rhim and Cam Babcock, shown here tackling Olean’s Alex Weakfall during last week’s game, and their Mustang teammates face a must win contest at Lackawanna on Saturday afternoon.

The phrase “must win game” is often overused but when it comes to the Medina/Lyndonville/Barker at Lackawanna B2 Division football game on Saturday (1 p.m.) that is certainly not the case.

One look at the B2 standings, which has Albion at 4-0, Olean 3-1 and both Lackawanna and Medina/Lyndonville/Barker at 2-1, clearly shows that this is a must win game in every sense of the word.

Since Albion, which has also ready clinched a tie for the division title, has only one B2  game remaining (at Medina on October 12) a second loss will drop Saturday’s loser right out of title contention.

Albion (5-0 overall) will host Iroquois (1-4) in an interdivisional game at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Purple Eagles road to claiming the division championship outright involves just one task – defeat rival Medina in the regular season finale.

However, the road is quite a bit more challenging for the three runners-up in their bid to claim a share of the title. Medina needs to defeat both Lackawanna and Albion. Lackawanna needs to defeat Medina and Olean on October 13 and have Medina defeat Albion. Olean needs to defeat Lackawanna and have Medina defeat Albion.

The Mustangs and Steelers both have B 2 wins over winless Depew and Springville (both 0-4, 0-5 overall). The Mustangs division loss was to Olean (14-13 in overtime) and the Steelers to Albion (43-8).

Quarterback Izaiah Rhim, who has thrown for 8 touchdown passes (4 to Brian Fry and 2 each to Rickie Pitts and Tyler Chinn)  and run for 5 more leads the Mustangs offense.

The Steelers hold a 7-3 lead in the series against the Mustangs including a 28-8 victory last year.

Both teams are looking to rebound from losses, the Mustangs from a 42-22 setback at the hands of first year varsity team Maritime/Health Sciences and the Steelers from a 33-0 drubbing by Cheektowaga.

Albion holds a 3-1 lead in the short series against Iroquois. It will be the first meeting between the Purple Eagles and Chiefs since 2006.

Quarterback Bryce Pritchard, who had passed for 5 touchdowns and run for 4 more, leads Albion’s balanced attack which also has Ugene Harrison with 5 rushing TDs, Brilliance Johnson 4, Nate Moore with 3 TD catches and Kevin Hillman 2.

Also on Friday, Roy-Hart will host JFK for Homecoming in a C North Division game and Holley will travel to Marcus Whitman for an 8 man contest, both at 7 p.m.