Purple Eagles, Mustangs set to renew century plus long gridiron rivalry
One of New York State’s oldest high school football rivalries will be renewed for the 118th time as Medina/Lyndonville visits Albion at 7 p.m. Friday in the B East Division regular season finale.
In addition to local bragging rights, the teams will also be battling to claim the Doc’s Rock Trophy which is named in honor of the late long-time Medina coach and teacher Larry “Doc” Decker who also taught and coached for a time at Albion.
“It’s a great rivalry, the best rivalry I’ve been involved in as coach,” said Albion Coach Gary Parisi. “It affects so many people in so many ways. It’s big for our players, especially our seniors, and for the people in the community.”
Both teams enter the contest with momentum from victories last weekend. The Mustangs scored their biggest win to date downing Depew 26-14 and the Purple Eagles snapped a four game losing streak with a 30-13 win over Barker/Roy-Hart.
“I’m proud of our kids and the way they’ve kept battling,” said Parisi. “We know this is going to be a physical game so the key for us is to keep grinding, keep working and stay positive.”
Junior running back Jake Cotter rushed for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns to spearhead the Mustangs attack against Depew while junior back Tommy Mattison had a pair of rushing touchdowns and also a clutch interception near the goal line late in the game to help preserve the Purple Eagles victory over Barker/Roy-Hart. Senior Trey Hart then sealed the Albion victory by turning in the rare feat of returning back-to-back pass interceptions for touchdowns in the final minute.
Medina/Lyndonville, which still has hopes of earning a sectional playoff berth, is 2-2 in the division and 4-2 overall while Albion is 1-3, 2-4 heading into the rivalry contest.
“Albion has had a couple of tough losses but they are a real good football team,” said Medina Coach Eric Valley. “They have a good running back (Mattison) and wide receiver (Hart) so we have to slow them down. We did a good job on defense against Depew and we’ve got to keep playing good defense.”
The Purple Eagles hold a 64-48-5 lead in the series which dates back to 1898 though the Mustangs have won the last three and five of the last seven. The last three encounters have been wide open, high scoring affairs with the Mustangs winning 56-34 in 2012, 38-31 in 2013 and 46-30 last fall.
The Mustangs recent run came after the Purple Eagles won 17 of 19 meetings from 1989 to 2007.
Prior to that, the Mustangs also had a long run of success going 18-3-1 from 1957-1978.
Barker/Roy-Hart, Holley on the road
Barker/Roy-Hart (0-4, 1-5) will close out the B East Division season at East Aurora/Holland (2-2, 3-3) at 7 p.m. Friday at East Aurora.
Holley (0-5, 0-6) will visit Notre Dame (41, 4-2) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Genesee Region League finale.
B East Division – Alden 5-0, 6-0, Depew 3-2, 3-3, Medina/Lyndonville 2-2, 4-2, East Aurora/Holland 2-2, 3-3, Albion 1-3, 2-4, Barker/Roy-Hart 0-4, 1-5.
G-R League – Attica 5-0, 5-1, Notre Dame 4-1, 4-2, Elba/Byron-Bergen 3-2, 4-2, Alexander 3-2, 4-2, Oakfield-Alabama 2-3, 3-3, Pembroke 1-5, 1-5, Holley -5, 0-6.