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Purple Eagles to host familiar foe in semis

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 October 2019 at 10:14 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – No. 3 seed Albion will host No. 7 Olean at 7 p.m. Friday in the semifinals of the Section VI Class B football playoffs. Here Albion’s Brillance Johnson picks up yardage against Olean defenders Aiden Nenno and Ryan Byrne during the recent regular season meeting between the team which saw the Purple Eagles claim a home field win.

It will be a rematch of a regular season B3 Division contest when No. 3 seed Albion hosts No. 7 Olean in the semifinals of the Section VI Class B football playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at Spierdowis Field.

The victor will face the winner of the No.1 Maritime vs. No. 5 Pioneer semifinal in the Class B championship game on November 8 at New Era Field.

During the regular season Albion locked up the B3 Division title with a 49-26 week five win over Olean.

The Purple Eagles bring a 7-1 record into the semi while the Huskies are 5-3.

Both teams had narrow wins in the quarterfinals as Albion trimmed No. 6 Tonawanda 17-14 and Olean rallied to nip No. 2 Newfane 26-24 on a 79 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Randy Silvis to Gavin Kulp on the last play of the game.

The Huskies repeatedly used explosive plays to down the Panthers as Silvis also had touchdown passes of 80 yards to Nick Pantuso and 51 yards to Kulp. Pantuso also had a 90 yard kickoff return for a TD.

On the season, Silvis has passed for 757 yards and 10 touchdowns while Kulp has caught 31 passes for 469 yards and 8 TD and Pantuso has rushed for 739 yards and 7 TDs.

Albion is led by quarterback Thomas Furmanski who has thrown for 9 touchdowns, run for 3 and kicked 2 field goals. The second of those field goals proved to be the margin of victory in the quarterfinal win over Tonawanda.

Furmanski hooked up with Kevin Hillman for 3 touchdown passes and with Alex Gibson for 1, all in the first half, of that earlier win over Olean. Hillman has caught a total of 6 TD passes on the season.

On the ground for the Purple Eagles, Tyray White has rushed for 9 touchdowns, Brillance Johnson 5 and Deyonci Farley 4. White and Farley both rushed for scores against Tonawanda.

The Purple Eagles defense has also contributed to the point production as Chris Shabazz has returned two interceptions for touchdowns and Hillman has returned a fumble recovery for a TD.

This will be the fifth sectional meeting between the Purple Eagles and Huskies. Olean holds a 3-1 edge in those previous four postseason meetings.

The most recent meeting was in 2004 when Olean nipped Albion 14-6 in the semifinals. The Huskies also edged the Purple Eagles by that same 14-6 score in the 2002 championship game which was also Albion’s last trip to the title contest.

Prior to that Albion downed Olean 27-14 in the 2000 semis and the Huskies bested the Purple Eagles 35-20 in the 1994 semis.

Holley to host Maple Grove
Holley (2-3) will host Maple Grove (3-2) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday to close out the 8 Man Football Division regular season.