Mustangs lock up C North Division title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 April 2021 at 11:13 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Brian Fry breaks loose for a 94 yard touchdown run during the Mustangs title clinching win over host Tonawanda this evening. Zach Wood pursues for the Warriors.

Completing an undefeated (4-0) C North Division championship campaign, Medina posted a 32-6 victory over host Tonwanda this evening in the regular season finale.

Brian Fry ran for four touchdowns and quarterback Xander Payne hooked up with Jarin Rhim for another TD to lead the Medina offense.

The Mustangs defensive unit registered their third shutout in four games as Tonawnada’s only score came on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter after Medina had built up a 26-0 lead.

“After being off for 10 days and with only three practices to get ready we came out a little slow but then we got going and played football like we can,” said Medina Coach Eric Valley. “Anytime you can win a championship it’s a great accomplishment and I’m really proud of them.”

Unable to capitalize on two first quarter drives into Tonawanda territory, Medina moved on top to stay with a quick two touchdown scoring burst in the second quarter.

Medina’s Joe Cecchini picks up yardage after a catch as Josh Fischer moves in to make the tackle for the Warriors.

Payne broke the scoreless deadlock when he completed a 25 yard touchdown pass to Rhim with 10:51 to go in the quarter.

The Mustangs defensive unit set up that score as Hayden Woodroe intercepted a Tonawanda pass at the Warriors 25.

Medina then got the ball back in great field possession at the Tonawanda 32 after the Warriors fumbled on a punt attempt.

The Mustangs offensive unit again was quick to capitalize on the opportunity as Fry swept around left end for 32 yards and the touchdown. Tyler Chinn added the two point conversion run to make it 14-0 with 7:37 to go in the period.

The Medina defense then stopped a Tonawanda drive at the Mustangs 35 on a fumble recovery by Chris Johnson.

Likewise at the outset of the third quarter the Mustang defense stopped Tonawanda on downs at the Medina 43 as Dominic Larabee came up with a big fourth quarter tackle.

Once again the Medina offense capitalized as a 16 yard run by Fry and a 37 yard Payne to Chinn pass completion set up a three yard touchdown run by Fry upping the Mustangs lead to 20-0 with 7:42 to go in the period.

The Warriors then drove inside the Medina 10 yard line but again the Mustangs defense came up big to stop the advance on downs at the 6, a series highlighted by a key sack by Joe Cecchini.

This time it took the Mustangs offense just one play to capitalize as Fry broke clean up the middle for a 94 yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 26-0 lead.

Dylan Carey then accounted for Tonawanda’s only score when he returned the ensuing kickoff some 70 yards for a touchdown.

Medina though got that one back when Fry broke loose for a 39 yard touchdown run with 2:26 remaining and a 32-6 lead.  The drive was highlighted by a 37 yard run by Corey Saj.

The Mustangs defensive unit came up big one more time to get the ball back via a fumble recovery by Zach Oliver to set up that scoring opportunity .

Tonawanda finishes the season at 1-2 in the division and 2-2 overall.

Medina now must await the outcome of three key games which will determine the Mustangs seed and semifinal round opponent for the Section VI Class C playoffs. Those games include Southwestern at Cassadaga Valley/Falconer and JFK at Eden on Friday and Fredonia at Clymer/Sherman/Panama (CSP) on Saturday.

Medina is battling with CSP  in the race to claim the No. 1 seed. The Mustangs finish the regular season with 80 power points which CSP could match with a 20 point win on Saturday.  Southwestern is now at 59 points and Eden/North Collins 55 with both teams having the chance to up those totals by 20 with big wins Friday. CSP and Southwestern share the C South lead at 3-0 while Eden/North Collins leads the C Central at 4-0.

Medina’s Tyler Chinn gains big yardage after a catch as Tonawanda’s Shane Conley and Joey McDonald chase him down.