Purple Eagles and Mustangs will face familiar old foes in football openers Friday

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 4 September 2019 at 10:04 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Bailey Blanchard and his Albion teammates will host Newfane at 7 p.m. Friday in the football season opener. Medina/Lyndonville/Barker will visit Lew-Port and Roy-Hart will host Wilson at that same time.

Two old Niagara-Orleans League football rivalries will be renewed in the local football season openers Friday as Albion hosts Newfane and Medina/Lyndonville/Barker travels to Lew-Port in interdivisional contests at 7 p.m.

At that same time Roy-Hart will host Wilson in a Class C North Division game.

Albion will be meeting Newfane for the 53rd time in a rivalry which began in 1954. The Purple Eagles hold a 41-9-2 edge over the Panthers in the series including a 50-14 victory in their most recent meeting in 2015.

Senior quarterback Thomas Furmanski leads the Albion offense which also has seniors Bril Johnson, Deyonci Farley and Tyray White at running back along with senior Kevin Hillman, junior Bailey Blanchard, junior Chris Shabazz and sophomore Tyler Gibson at the receiver spots. The senior trio of Cody Wilson, Bryce Kelly  and Michael DiCureia will anchor the line.

“Newfane has got a good team so we know we will have our hands full. It will be a battle,” said Coach Adam Krenning. “How well our line does against there’s on both side of the line of scrimmage will be key.”

Medina will be taking on Lew-Port for the 24th time since the rivalry began in 1955. The Mustangs hold a narrow 12-11 lead in the series including a 28-13 victory over the Lancers last year.

Sophomore Jarin Rhim will make his first varsity start at quarterback for the Mustangs which will have sophomore Emmanual Taylor, senior Bobby Geiger and junior Rodney Davis at running back; juniors Brian Fry, Tyler Chinn, Dontae Rhim and senior Nate Sherman at wide receiver and sophomore Joe Cecchini at tight end.

Up front the Mustangs look to have senior Andrew Saunders at center, freshman Chris Johnson and senior David Class at the guard spots and junior Robert Morehouse and senior Lincoln Pace at tackles backed up by sophomores Zach Hill and Andrew Hill.

“Lew-Port likes to run the ball so we expect they will try to run it right down our throats. Our front seven will really have to step up and play well,” said Coach Eric Valley. “We’re pretty young. We’ve got a good group of backs and receivers and a young quarterback with a strong arm. We just have to find our identity.”