Mustangs visit Wildcats seeking B East title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 September 2016 at 10:11 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Running back Eric Neace (23) shown here carrying the ball and quarterback Izaiah Rhim (5) and their Medina/Lyndonville teammates face a key B East Dvision contest at Depew on Friday night.

Looking to end a two decade long title drought, Medina/Lyndonville visits Depew at 7:30 p.m. Friday seeking a win to clinch at least a tie for the B East Division championship.

It’s been nearly 20 years, since 1997, that the Mustangs last earned even a share of the division title. That year Medina finished in a wild five-way tie for the B Division title at 5-2 with Depew, Albion, Alden and Cheektowaga.

And it’s been nearly 30 years, since 1988, that the Mustangs last claimed outright possession of a division title. That memorable season, the Mustangs went 10-0 capturing both division and Section VI titles trimming rival Albion 14-7 in the sectional final at then Rich Stadium.

“We shared with the team how long it has been since Medina has won a division title, and explained to them the significance of such an accomplishment,” said Coach Eric Valley. “Winning a division title is a great accomplishment that any team can be proud of especially in a very competitive division like we play in. The Depew game presents us with a great opportunity to get one step closer to winning a division title.”

Medina/Lyndonville brings a 3-0 division, 4-0 overall record into the contest while Depew is 1-2, 1-3.

The Wildcats snapped a rare season opening three game losing streak by rallying from a 14-8 half-time deficit to defeat Albion 22-14 last week.

Quarterback Jon Wolf, who passed for one touchdown and ran for another in the win at Albion, leads the Depew offense.

“Depew has traditionally been a very good football team, and they are always competitive,” said Valley. “We need to continue to play well in all three phases of the game, capitalize on any mistakes they make and try to minimize our own mistakes. We have had some breakdowns at some points in all of our games this year. We need to start to eliminate those mistakes if we want to continue to play well against good competition.”

The Mustangs have had a balanced attack to date in averaging 47.5 points per game as receiver Jalin Cooper has scored 8 touchdowns, running backs Jake Cotter and Eric Neace 5 each, quarterback Izaiah Rhim 3 and receiver Brendan Luthart 2.

On defense, the Mustangs have been led in tackles by Dawson Joy with 36, Neace 27, Dustin Joy 25, Lucas Porter 22 and Mason Lewis. Porter also leads the team in interceptions with 5.

“Our kids are focused on winning games one play at a time and they are excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead of them,” said Valley.

Depew holds a 15-11 lead in the all-time series with Medina which began in 1929. The Mustangs won last year’s meeting 26-14.

Albion at Lackawanna
Looking to get back onto the winning track, Albion (1-2, 1-3) visits Lackawanna (1-1, 2-2) at 7 p.m. Friday in another B East Division game.

Albion is looking to rebound from the 22-14 loss to Depew while Lackawanna is looking to make it three wins in a row after an 0-2 start to the season. The Steelers have defeated Depew 20-14 and JFK 42-12 the last two weeks.

Lackawanna holds a 9-4 lead in the series but Albion won the last meeting 13-6 in 2011.

Barker/Roy-Hart at Newfane
Barker/Roy-Hart (0-3, 1-3), which is looking to halt a two game skid, visits neighboring Newfane (0-4) in an interdivisional contest at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Barker/Roy-Hart holds a 4-0 lead in the short series against Newfane.

Holley at Oakfield-Alabama/Elba
Two teams seeking that first Genesee Region League victory of the season will collide Friday night as Holley visits Oakfield-Alabama/Elba at 7 p.m. at Oakfield.

The Hawks are 0-2 in the league and 1-3 overall while the Hornets are 0-2, 0-4.

The Hornets hold a 9-4 lead in the series against the Hawks and won last year’s game 43-24.