Purple Eagles, Mustangs set to renew rivalry

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 October 2018 at 9:43 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Quarterbacks Bryce Pritchard, left, and Izaiah Rhim will lead Albion and Medina/Lyndonville/Barker into Friday’s annual rivalry game at Vets Park.

Looking to complete an undefeated B2 Division championship season, Albion will face Medina/Lyndonville/Barker at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Vets Park in the 121st renewal of one of New York State’s oldest schoolboy football rivalries.

Albion, which has already locked up the B2 title, brings a 4-0 division, 6-0 overall record into the contest while Medina/Lyndonville/Barker is 2-2, 3-3.

The victor will also receive the “Doc’s Rock” Trophy which is given annually in memory of Larry “Doc” Decker who taught and coached in both school districts.

The Purple Eagles have romped in all six previous outings winning by margins of 30, 35, 35, 14, 27 and 36 points while the Mustangs four division games have all been nail biters.

In fact, the Mustangs two division wins have come by a total of just six points (14-12 over Depew and 28-24 over Springville) while the two losses have been by a total of only three points (14-13 in overtime too Olean and 28-26 to Lackawanna).

Albion holds a 66-49-5 lead in the series which dates back to 1898. Since 2000 the Purple Eagles hold a 12-6 edge over the Mustangs, However, the teams have split their last four meetings with the Purple Eagles winning 51-22 last year at Albion.

Both teams are led by three year starting senior quarterbacks, the Purple Eagles by Bryce Pritchard and  the Mustangs by Izaiah Rhim.

Pritchard, who has already surpassed the 1,000 yard total offense mark this season, has thrown for 6 touchdowns and run for 5 more.

The Purple Eagles versatile attack  has also had running backs Ugene Harrison and Brilliance Johnson both with 5 rushing touchdowns, Isaiah Callicutt 4 and Deyonci Farley 3 while Nate Moore has 4 TD receptions and Kevin Hillman 2. Matt Kovaleski leads the Purple Eagles in pass receptions with 17.

In addition, Purple Eagles place kicker Alex Rustay had made good on 26 of 32 extra point kicks, including a school record 8 for 8 last week in the win over Iroquois, and has also kicked 2 field goals.

Pritchard passed for 2 touchdowns and ran for another and Harrison ran for 2 scores in the Purple Eagles win over the Mustangs last fall.

Rhim has had a hand in 15 of the Mustangs 19 touchdowns to date including 9 TD passes and 6 rushing scores.

Brian Fry, who has a total of 30 receptions for 425 yards, has caught 4 of those TD passes while Tyler Chinn has hauled in 3 and Rickie Pitts 2.  Running back William Braswell has led the Mustangs ground attack with 326 yards including 3 touchdowns.

Mustangs place kicker Matt Hess has made good on 11 of 13 extra point attempts.

Rhim ran for 2 scores and Braswell 1 for the Mustangs in the loss to the Purple Eagles last year.

The Purple Eagles defense has been led by Ben Restivo with 47 tackles as Harrison has been in on 35 stops, Jessy Cruz and Deyonci Farley 30, Brennan Hughes 28, Moore 26 and Donamic Farley 24.

The Mustangs leading tacklers include Justice Hughes with 46, Chaise Prest 43, Fry 42 and Bobby Geiger and Blaire Prest 36.

The other regular season ending B2 game will see Lackawanna (3-1) hosting Olean (3-1) on Saturday.

This weekend’s other local games will have Roy-Hart at Wilson in a C North Division game at 7 p.m. Friday and Holley hosting CG Finney in an 8 man contest at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.