Purple Eagles to host Steelers Friday in Class B sectional quarterfinal

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 October 2018 at 11:12 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Albion Placekicker Alex Rustay and holder Matt Kovaleski and their Purple Eagles teammates will host Lackawanna Friday evening in the quarterfinal round of the Section VI Class B playoffs.

Top seeded Albion will begin its quest for a Section VI Class B football title when the Purple Eagles host No. 8 Lackawanna in a quarterfinal round contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The other quarterfinal match-ups will have No. 7 Maryvale at No. 2 Fredonia, No. 6 Olean at No. 3 Pioneer and No. 5 Dunkirk at No. 4 Cheektowaga.

The match-up will be a repeat of an early season B2 Division game which saw Albion romp to a 43-8 victory over the Steelers. Albion went on to claim the B2 title at 5-0 and brings a 7-0 record into the sectionals while Lackawanna is 4-3.

It marks the seventh time that Albion and Lackawanna have met in the postseason. The Steelers hold a 4-2 edge in the previous meetings though the Purple Eagles won the most recent encounter 14-6 in the 2009 quarterfinals.

Quarterback Bryce Pritchard, who has passed for 1,025 yards and 5 touchdowns leads Albion’s balanced attack. Pritchard and Brilliance Johnson have both scored 7 touchdowns, Nate Moore and Ugene Harrison 6, Isaiah Callicutt 4 and Deyonci Farley 3. Matt Kovaleski has a team leading 20 pass receptions for 354 yards while Moore leads in TD receptions with 5. Place kicker Alex Rustay has made good on 30 of 37 extra point tries and has booted two field goals.

Harrison ran for three touchdowns while Pritchard ran for one and passed for another in that earlier win over Lackawanna.

On defense, Ben Restivo leads the Purple Eagles with 55 tackles while Deyonci Farley has 38, Jessy Cruz 37, Harrison 36 and Moore and Donamic Farley 30. Moore also leads the Purple Eagles in interceptions with 3 while Jonathan DePuy has 6 sacks and Brennan Hughes 5.

The Purple Eagles defense really sparkled in that earlier meeting with the Steelers registering a total of 7 turnovers including 5 interceptions (2 by Kovaleski and 1 each by Harrison, Johnson and Kevin Hillman) and two fumble recoveries, by Restivo and DePuy.

Quarterback Jeremiah Caviness has sparked the Lackawanna offense with 1,277 passing yards and 12 touchdowns and 231 rushing yards. His favorite targets have been Juan Rodriguez (27 catches for 420 yards and 6 touchdowns) and Alex Rodriguez (27 catches for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns).

Consolation Bowl
Medina/Lyndonville/Barker will face Burgard at Riverside High in Buffalo at 6 p.m. this evening in the semifinals of the Class B Chuck Funke Memorial Consolation Bowl. Newfane will host Iroquois at 2 p.m. Saturday in the other semifinal.

8 Man contest
Holley will close out the regular season if its first 8 man football campaign by visiting Oakfield-Alabama/Elba at 7 p.m. Friday.

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