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Mustangs survive late scare to edge past Lake Shore

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Dylan Lewis (9) is tackled by Lake Shore’s Parker Addison during the Mustangs narrow win over the Eagles this evening at Vets Park.

Surviving a big fourth quarter scare, Medina held on to defeat Lake Shore 36-30 this evening in an interdivisional football game at Vets Park.

Brett Pecoraro ran for three touchdowns and quarterback Jason Hellwig hooked up with Dylan Lewis and Brandon Schoolcraft for two more TD passes to help Medina build up as much as a 28 point, 36-8, advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

However, Lake Shore made the finish exciting by rallying for three touchdowns within a span of just over five minutes to slice the Medina lead to just six at 36-30 with almost five minutes to go.

Two interceptions keyed the Lake Shore comeback which was started by a 5 yard touchdown run by Lawrence Jenkins with 10:04 remaining. Cory Fiutko then returned the first interception 20 yards for one touchdown and the second pick set up a 7 yard TD run by Parker Addison with 4:59 to go which cut the Eagles deficit to 36-30.

Regrouping, the Medina offensive unit was able to use up that final 4:59 to preserve the narrow win. A big gamble on fourth down and three at their own 33, which Pecoraro picked up with a 3 yard carry, kept that drive alive. Pecoraro and Hellwig also had key carries for first downs on the victory clinching drive.

“The turnovers definitely hurt us in the second half but when they needed to our kids rose to the occassion,” said Medina Coach Eric Valley in pointing to the last drive, especially the fourth down conversion. “I challenged our kids during the time out and they produced.”

The Mustangs also got off to a lightning fast start as Hellwig hooked up with Lewis for an 80 yard touchdown pass play on the very first play from scrimmage. The play saw Hellwig hit Lewis in full stride on the fly pattern down the sideline just 12 seconds into the game.

Medina then missed a golden opportunity to score again on the next possession as a 27 yard Hellwig to Schoolcraft pass completion, along with runs by Pecoraro of 20, 10 and 9 yards, moved the ball to the Lake Shore 19 before a lost fumble halted the advance.

Lake Shore capitalized on the turnover as a 38 yard touchdown run by Fiutko capped of the quick five play drive. Addison added the two point conversion run to give the Eagles what proved to be their only lead at 8-6.

Medina regained the lead for good at 14-8 just three plays into the second quarter on a 6 yard touchdown run by Pecoraro and a two-point conversion pass from Hellwig to Lewis.

A fumble recovery by Pecoraro at the Medina 37 set up that drive which was highlighted by pass completions by Hellwig of 29 yards to Ty Hrovat and of 11 to Lewis.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Devin Joy tries to avoid a tackle by Lake Shore’s Lawrence Jenkins.

The Mustangs upped the advantage to 22-8 on a 16 yard Hellwig to Schoolcraft touchdown pass and a two-point conversion toss from Hellwig to Pecoraro with 3:45 to go in the quarter. Back-to-back pass completions by Hellwig of 15 yards to Pecoraro and 13 to Hrovat keyed that drive.

The Medina defensive unit then forced three Lake Shore turnovers in Eagles territory over the final three and a half minutes on fumble recoveries by Charles Beach and Tom Follman and an interception by Follman.

However, the Mustangs offensive unit could capitalize on only one of those opportunities as Pecoraro ran 6 yards for a touchdown and Hellwig added the two-point conversion carry upping the Medina lead to 30-8 with 1:48 to go in the half.

Pecoraro then scored again on an 83 yard touchdown run with 4:21 to go in the third quarter upping the Mustangs advantage to what looked to be a commanding 36-8 margin.

However, Lake Shore came battling back as turnovers aided the Eagles late three touchdown uprising which made the finish exciting.

Medina improves to 2-1 while Lake Shore slips to 0-3.

The Mustangs next host Burgard in a key B North Division contest next Friday night for Homecoming.