Mustangs hold on to nip Bulldogs
Surviving a big scare down the stretch, Medina/Lyndonville held on to nip Alden 24-21 in the semifinal round of the Class B Chuck Funke Memorial Bowl this evening at Vets Park.
Up 24-0 early in the third quarter, Medina/Lyndonville saw Alden come storming back to slice the deficit to just three at 24-21. The Bulldogs then had what would have been the winning touchdown nullified by a penalty in the final seconds as the drive ended on downs at the Mustangs 6 yard line.
The win advances the Mustangs to the Class B Bowl final next Thursday at Pioneer against Olean which defeated Burgard 36-24 in the other semifinal.
Medina grabbed a quick 8-0 lead in the first two and a half minutes on a 16 yard touchdown run by Jalin Cooper who set up the scoring opportunity himself by returning the opening kickoff 59 yards to the Alden 36. Quarterback Izaiah Rhim added the two-point conversion pass to Brian Fry.
The Mustangs doubled their advantage to 16-0 midway through the second quarter on a 16 yrd touchdown run by William Braswell and a two-point conversion run by Cooper. A long 52 yard pass completion from Rhim to Fry keyed that drive which also included a 15 yard Rhim to DaRon Bellan completion.
The Medina/Lyndonville defense then came up with a big play to stop a late Alden scoring threat as Mason Lewis had an interception at the Mustangs 16 yard line.
The Mustangs defense also came up with a huge play in the first two minutes of the third quarter as Cooper knocked the ball loose from Alden quarterback Bryan Cybulski and Fry scooped up the fumble and raced 45 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Rhim tacked on the two-point conversion pass to Lewis upping the lead to 24-0.
However, Alden came storming back with three touchdowns before the third quarter ended on a pair of 5 yard runs by Brandon Windnagle and a 30 yard scoring run by Cybulski to close to within three at 24-21. A big 63 yard pass completion from Cybulski to Christian Snell set up the first score and a short punt, which gave the Bulldogs possession at the Mustangs 30 yard line, set up the second.
Keeping the momentum, Alden drove inside the Medina 35 early in the fourth quarter but the Mustangs defense stopped that advance as Blaire Prest registered a key sack for a big 14 yard loss.
Alden though did mount one last big scoring threat as runs by Colin Skowronski of 14, 9 and 7 yards and by Cybulski of 11 helped to move the Bulldogs to a first down at the Medina 7 yard line in the final minute. However, a penalty wiped out an Alden touchdown and the Mustangs defense stopped the next three plays to preserve the narrow win.
The Mustangs improve to 5-3 while the Bulldogs slip to 2-6.