Purple Eagles surge past Mustangs

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 13 October 2017 at 10:54 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Demetrius Gardner tries to break loose from a group of Medina/Lyndonville tacklers including Mason Lewis and Brendan Luthart during the Purple Eagles home field win over the rival Mustangs this evening.

Stung by a pair of early scores, Albion came roaring back with a burst of five straight touchdowns in route to posting a 51-22 victory over visiting rival Medina/Lyndonville this evening.

Ugene Harrison had two long touchdown runs, Brilliance Johnson one and quarterback Bryce Pritchard ran for one score and passed to Nate Moore for another during that big Purple Eagles rally.

“The kids really rallied. They didn’t bend and they didn’t break,” exclaimed a happy Albion Coach Adam Krenning. “They just did a great job. This is an outstanding group of athletes.”

Mustangs back William Braswell looks to go around Purple Eagles defender Matt Kovaleski.

Medina/Lyndonville jumped out to an early 16-0 lead with a quick two touchdown scoring burst within span of less than two minutes midway through the first quarter.

Quarterback Izaiah Rhim ran 5 yards for the first score and then passed to Brian Fry for the two-point conversion. Jalin Cooper had a 22 yard run and a 16 yard pass reception to highlight the drive.

William Braswell then broke loose up the middle for a 77 yard TD scamper and Rhim added the two-point conversion carry doubling the Mustangs advantage to 16-0.

However, Albion got right back into the game just 48 seconds later when Harrison, who ran for 201 yards on the evening, got free for a 56 yard touchdown run and Justin Robinson tacked on the first of his seven extra point kicks.  A pair of strong bulldozer style runs of 16 and 18 yards by Demetius Gardner keyed that drive.

Harrison then cut the Purple Eagles deficit to just two, 16-14, when he broke loose again this time for a 52 yard touchdown run with 5:52 to go in the second quarter.

Keeping the momentum from a strong stand by their defensive unit near the Albion goal line, the Purple Eagles offense then drove for the go ahead touchdown on a 16 yard run by Pritchard with just 36 seconds to go. A big 39 yard pass completion from Pritchard to Harrison highlighted that drive which vaulted the Purple Eagles into a 21-16 lead at the half.

Albion then broke the contest open with a pair of unanswered third quarter touchdowns to extend the lead to 35-16.

Johnson scored on a 52 yard run with 8:26 remaining in the period and then Pritchard hooked up with Moore for a 40 yard TD pass completion with 1:45 remaining. A 14 yard completion from Pritchard to JaQuess Harrison and a 10 yard run by Ugene Harrison keyed that 11 play, 74 yard drive.

After an exchange of fumbles near the Albion goal line early in the final period, Medina/Lyndonville got on the scoreboard on a 1 yard touchdown run by Rhim which cut the Albion lead to 35-22.

However, it took the Purple Eagles just 43 seconds to get that one back as Ugene Harrison had a 24 yard run and then Pritchard hooked up with Gardner for a 28 yard touchdown pass upping the Albion advantage to 42-22. Gardner made a nifty catch on the play as he initially had the ball bounce off his hands but he was able to regain control of the ball and scamper into the endzone.

Antonio Vallejo Miller rounded out the Albion scoring parade with a 22 yard touchdown run with 3:20 remaining.

The Purple Eagles had picked up two points on a safety just before that TD drive when Medina/Lyndonville was called for a penalty in the Mustangs end zone.

Albion improves to 6-1 heading into next weekend’s sectional quarterfinals while Medina/Lyndonville slips to 4-3.

Medina/Lyndonville also got some bad postseason news as Pioneer defeated Burgard 39-12 knocking the Mustangs out of contention for the 8th and final berth in the Class B sectional playoffs.

The Purple Eagles now holds a 66-49-5 lead in the series which was played for the 120th time.

The post game ceremonies included the presentation of the “Doc’s Rock” Trophy to Albion. The trophy is given in memory of Larry “Doc” Decker who taught and coached at both Medina and Albion during his career.

In addition, the first Jeff Evoy Memorial Sportsmanship Awards were presented to Albion’s JaQuess Harrison and Medina’s Brendan Luthart. The award is given in memory of the former Albion teacher and Medina superintendent who passed away in 2016.

Lackawanna 48, Roy-Hart/Barker 0
Lackawanna closed out an undefeated (5-0) B-3 Division championship season with a 48-0 win over Roy-hart/Barker at Middleport.
The Steelers took a 20-0 half-time lead on a late 80 yard interception return for  a touchdown.

Brilliance Johnson breaks loose for a long touchdown run for the Purple Eagles.