Mustangs to host Trojans Friday in Section VI Class C title contest

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 13 May 2021 at 10:11 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina running back Lennon Meacham, here getting a block from Zach Oliver, and their Mustang teammates will host Southwestern in the Section VI Class C championship game Friday evening at Vets Park.

Looking to end a long 33 year sectional title drought, No. 2 seed Medina will host No. 4 Southwestern in the Section VI Class C football championship game at 7 p.m. Friday at Vets Park.

Medina advanced to the title contest by romping past No. 3 Eden/North Collins 54-6 in the semifinals while Southwestern edged past top seeded Clymer/Sherman/Panama 24-21.

This will be Medina’s first appearance in the finals since 1988 when the Mustangs won their third Section VI title by downing rival Albion 14-7. Prior to that Medina also captured the sectional title in 1980 by downing Silver Creek 20-14 and in 1982 by besting Cassadaga Valley 26-7.

Southwestern brings a strong postseason record into the contest as the Trojans have won five Section VI titles (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019) and two state championships (2008 and 2009). The Trojans 2019 squad advanced to the state semifinals.

“Southwestern has a solid program and they have a number of sectional and state titles to back that up,” said Medina Coach Eric Valley. “They have a very athletic group of kids especially their quarterback Aidan Kennedy. He can really extend plays with his legs and his arm so we really need to bottle him up and contain him so that he doesn’t extend plays.”

Kennedy, who is a junior, has thrown for 1,074 yards and 15 touchdowns including 7 to senior Garrett Swan and 4 to senior Nate Johnson. Both receivers have over 350 yards in receptions.

On the ground, the Trojans are led by senior Zishan Munir who has rushed for 428 yards and 6 touchdowns and Kennedy who has picked up 203 yards and scored 4 TDs.

The Trojans also have a consistent place kicker in freshman Neves Hoose who has made 23 of 26 extra point kicks and 3 of 4 field goal attempts with the longest being 39 yards.

“Defensively they have guys who can play multiple positions and they give you multiple looks so we will have to be solid in our blocking schemes,” said Valley.

Offensively it is interesting that the Mustangs are likewise are led by a junior quarterback Xander Payne whose statistics are nearly identical to Kennedy’s as he has thrown for 938 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Senior Tyler Chinn has caught 6 of those TD aerials while senior Brian Fry has hauled in 3, juniors Joe Cecchini and Jarin Rhim 2 each and senior Corey Saj, and junior Iverson Poole 1 each.

Fry also leads the Mustangs ground attack with 628 yards and 7 touchdowns. Poole has added 3 rushing touchdowns, Payne 2 and Saj, who has rushed for 209 yards, has 1.

Defensively the Mustangs have allowed only 13 points in five games on one touchdown and two field goals.

That defensive unit has had plenty of contributors. In tackles Fry has 28, sophomore Noah Skinner 24, sophomore Chris Johnson 18, Saj 15, Cecchini 14, junior Zach Oliver 12, Chinn 10, Poole and junior Hayden Woodroe 9, sophomore Dominic Larabee 8 and senior Lennon Meacham 7.

Cecchini leads the team in sacks with 5 while Rhim has 3 and Oliver 2.

Woodroe, Chinn and Fry each have two pass interceptions.

Both teams bring 5-0 records into the title contest.