Purple Eagles down Huskies in Class B semi
Ending a 17 year drought, No. 3 seed Albion scored a 21-14 Class B semifinal win over visiting No. 7 Olean this evening to advance to the Section VI championships at New Era Field for the first time since 2002.
Ironically Olean spoiled Albion’s last trip to the stadium by claiming a 14-6 win in that 2002 title contest.
Albion will now face top seeded Maritime for the Class B title at 5 p.m. next Friday at New Era Field. Top seeded Maritime defeated No. 5 Pioneer 42-7 in the other semifinal.
“It’s huge for our program and for our community,” said Albion Coach Adam Krenning of the win which sends the Purple Eagles to the title game at the stadium. “This is a special group of kids. They’ve really played hard and worked hard all season.”
Albion jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first seven minutes on a 2 yard touchdown run by Brillance Johnson and a 36 yard scoring pass from quarterback Thomas Furmanski to Chris Shabazz as Tyray White tacked on the two-point conversion.
A big 33 yard run by Johnson ignited the opening scoring drive which also featured a key 12 yard pickup by Furmanski.
The Purple Eagles defense set up the second score as Deyonci Farley recovered an Olean fumble at the Huskies 43 yard line.
“You always like to get out quick and get the jump on any team,” said Krenning. “However, we knew Olean would make some adjustments and they did and they kept right with us the rest of the way.”
Olean battled back to cut the deficit to 14-7 on a 10 yard touchdown run by Nick Pantuso and an extra point kick by Max Linderman on the first play of the second quarter.
The Albion defense again came up with a big turnover via a fumble recovery by Shabazz at the Huskies 41. The Purple Eagles offense though couldn’t capitalize as a lost fumble at the Huskies 10 wiped out the opportunity.
The Purple Eagles though did capitalize on their next drive into Olean territory as Furmanski scored on a 1 yard touchdown run with just 1.6 seconds to go in the half and his extra point kick upped the Albion lead to 21-7.
A 19 yard run by White along with Furmanski pass completions of 13 yards to Johnson and 14 to Anthony Freeman highlighted what turned out to be the game winning scoring drive.
(Click here to see Anthony Freeman catch a pass from Thomas Furmanski to get close to the goal line.)
Olean closed the gap to 21-14 with a bizarre touchdown play three minutes into the third quarter. The Huskies completed a 15 yard pass down to the Albion 4 but fumbled the ball only to have another Olean player recover it in the end zone for a touchdown.
However, the Huskies could not cross into Albion territory the rest of the way against the stingy Purple Eagles defense.
Albion did answer back with a long drive highlighted by pass completions of 27 yards to Farley and 15 yards to Bailey Blanchard only the have the march stall out on downs at the Olean 9.
Once again the Albion defense got the ball right back on an interception by Kevin Hillman at the Olean 31. A 24 yard Furmanski to Hillman pass competition quickly moved the ball to the 7 but the Huskies defense stiffened and a 23 yard field goal attempt missed as the fourth quarter got underway.
The Albion defense once again came up with a big turnover as Cameron Bell recovered a Huskies fumble at the Olean 27. However, four plays later the Olean defense came up with an interception to end that threat.
“Our defense did a great job,” said Krenning.
The rest of the game was played in the Olean end of the field.
The Albion defense first stopped the Huskies at the 16 forcing a punt and later stopped another Huskies drive on downs at the 17 with just 1:27 remaining to lock up the win.
After those two defensive stops the Albion offense used up most of the remaining time on two drives that were stopped on downs first at the Huskies 26 and then at the 14.
Albion, which also defeated Olean 49-26 during the regular season, improves to 8-1 while the Huskies finish the season at 5-4.
Wilson defeated visiting Portville 26-21 in a Class C semifinal.
(Click here to see Olean QB Silvis’s pass attempt be batted down on 4th down with less than 2 minutes to go in the game.)