Purple Eagles down rival Mustangs
Ending a three year drought, Albion used back-to-back touchdown drives to open the fourth quarter to snap a 14-14 tie and key a 27-14 victory over rival Medina/Lyndonville this evening in a B East Division contest at Spierdowis Field.
A big 56 yard run by Tyler Rotoli down to the Medina/Lyndonville 2 set up a 2 yard touchdown run by quarterback Kyle Smith with 9:44 to go in the fourth quarter putting Albion on top to stay at 21-14 as Trey Hart added the extra point kick. Rotoli had a total of 142 yards rushing on the night.
“The key play of the game was Tyler’s run,” said Albion Coach Gary Paris who’s Purple Eagles also claimed the Doc’s Rick Trophy for the first time since 2011. The trophy is given annually to the winner in memory of the late Larry “Doc” Decker, a long-time Medina coach and teacher who also taught and coached for a time at Albion.
The Purple Eagles got the ball rght back as Manwell Taylor recovered the ensuing short kickoff and the Purple Eagles were quick to capitalize. Smith hooked up with Kory Reynolds for a 29 yard touchdown pass play on a fourth down and 15 play with 5:15 remaining upping the Purple Eagles advantage to 29-14.
“Kory’s catch was a big play and so was the kickoff recovery,” said Parisi. “I’m just so proud of our kids. I know we’re a good football team. We’ve come up a little short a couple of times this season but the kids kept grinding and working and I’m just real proud of them.”
The teams had traded touchdowns twice in the first half which ended deadlocked at 14-14.
Medina/Lyndonville jumped out to a 6-0 lead when Tyler Valley threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Dylan Lewis with 3:04 remaining in the first quarter. A 28 yard run by Jake Cotter ignited that drive which was also highlighted by a 15 yard run by Jalin Cooper.
Albion though answered right back on the next possession to take an 8-6 lead as Tyler Rotoli scored on a 4 yard touchdown run and Hart threw a two-point conversion pass to Reynolds on a broken play. A 9 yard run on fourth down by Meach Gardner for a first down and a 15 yard run by Smith keyed that drive.
The Mustangs though grabbed the lead right back at 14-8 as Eric Neace scored on a 2 yard run with 6:16 to go in the second quarter. Cotter had runs of 27 and 15 yards to highlight the march.
The sea-saw battled continued as Albion again answered, this time with a 26 yard touchdown pass from Smith to Hart on a fourth down and 11 play with just 53 seconds to go in the half to pull the Purple Eagles even at 14-14. A pass interference penalty against the Mustangs helped ignite that drive.
Both teams mounted good scoring threats in the third quarter but couldn’t capitalize.
Albion drove to the Medina 15 after a 14 yard Smith to Reynolds pass completion but the Mustangs defense came up big as Charles Beach recovered a fumble and returned it to the Medina 35.
The Mustangs then drove to a first down at the Albion 19 after Neace picked up 37 yards on a fake punt play. However, the Purple Eagles defense stopped the advance on downs and the Mustangs would get no closer in the final quarter.
Mike Laine had 10 tackles, Gardner 9 and Nate Trembley and Reynolds 7 to lead the Albion defense.
Albion and Medina/Lyndonville both finish the B East season at 2-3. The Purple Eagles are 3-4 overall and the Mustangs 4-3.
In snapping the Mustangs three game win streak in the rivalry, the Purple Eagles increase their lead in the all-time series, which dates back to 1898, to 65-48-5.