Purple Eagles rally to edge past Warriors

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 9 October 2021 at 10:29 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Javon Jones hauls in the winning two-point conversion pass as the Purple Eagles rallied past visiting Cheektowaga this evening.

What a difference a half made!

Trailing 14-0 after a turnover plagued first half, Albion battled back with two second half touchdowns to nip visiting Cheektowaga 16-14 in a B North Division game this evening.

The victory keeps Albion deadlocked with Maritime for the B North Division lead at 4-0 and sets up a huge game next Saturday as the Purple Eagles visit Maritime.

“We just believed in ourselves,” said Coach David Skrip of the big comeback win. “They played with a lot of heart and they believed in each other.”

Albion’s Jacob Hughson picks up big yardage on the Purple Eagles final victory preserving possession.

Albion, which is now 5-0 overall, got back into the game when quarterback Amari Jones hooked up with Javon Jones for a 50 yard touchdown pass with 4:49 to go in the third quarter. Amari Jones then completed a two-point conversion pass to Jahmeek Riley to slice the Cheektowaga lead to 14-8.

The Purple Eagles finally pulled even at 14-14 when Amari Jones connected with Riley for a 51 yard touchdown pass with 6:52 remaining in the final quarter. On the play Jones scrambled and finally hooked up with Riley who broke a tackle and sprinted down the sdieline and into the endzone for the score.

It then took the Purple Eagles two tries to score what proved to be the winning two-point conversion. A penalty wiped out the first attempt but on the second Amari Jones threw a pass to Javon Jones who made a leaping grab in the middle of the endzone for the decisive two points.

The Purple Eagles defense then stopped the Warriors final possession on downs at midfield with 4:12 remaining.

The Albion offense did the rest running out the remaining time as Amari Jones completed a 17 yard pass to Riley and Jacob Hughson broke loose for a big 16 yard gain to highlight the win preserving possession. The contest ended with the Purple Eagles camped out at the Warriors 11 yard line.

Cheektowaga capitalized on two Albion turnovers to score twice within a span of two minutes midway through the first quarter to take a quick 14-0 lead.

A muffed Albion punt return attempt at the Purple Eagles 23 yard line set up the first score. A lost Purple Eagles fumble at the Albion 40 then set up the second tally.

The Warriors first half lead could have been bigger but the Albion defense came up big to stop three other Warrior possessions in Purple Eagles territory. Javon Jones had interceptions to stop two of those drives and Riley led the way on a key fourth down sack to stop the other threat at the Albion 29.

The loss drops Cheektowaga to 1-2 in the division and 1-4 overall.

Albion’s Jahmeek Riley wards off Cheektowaga defender Jeremy Gray for a good gain during the final possession.