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Purple Eagles top Steelers to open sectionals

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 19 October 2018 at 11:01 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Matt Kovaleski returns a kickoff for a touchdown which helped break the sectional game against visiting Lackawanna wide open this evening.

Scoring in every quarter, top seeded Albion posted a 34-14 victory over visiting No. 8 Lackawanna this evening in the quarterfinal round of the Section VI Class B playoffs.

Quarterback Bryce Pritchard threw three touchdown passes, two to Nate Moore and one to Matt Kovaleski to lead the Purple Eagles attack which also included a touchdown run by Michael DiCureia and a long kickoff return for a TD by Kovaleski which helped break the contest open.

The victory advances Albion to a semifinal round home field meeting with No. 4 Cheektowaga at 7 p.m. next Friday. Cheektowaga ousted No. 5 Dunkirk 40-8.

Albion took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter as Pritchard hooked up with Kovaleski for a 10 yard touchdown pass with 2:21 to go in the quarter. Alex Rustay added the first of his four extra point kicks. Pritchard completed 21 yard passes to both Kevin Hillman and Ugene Harrison to highlight the drive.

Albion’s Michael DiCureia gains yardage as De’Marion Johnson tries to make the tackle for Lackawanna.

Lackawanna did cut the deficit to 7-6 on a 1 yard touchdown run by quarterback Jeremiah Caviness with 8:39 to go in the second quarter.

However, Albion got that one back just 12 seconds later as Kovaleski raced 85 yards with the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to quickly put the Purple Eagles up 14-6.

Albion boosted its advantage to 21-6 at the half as Moore hauled in a 15 yard touchdown pass from Pritchard with only 37 seconds to go. The Pritchard to Moore combination also clicked for a big 35 yard pass completion to key the drive.

Lackawanna did close the gap to 21-14 at the outset of the second half as De’Marion Johnson returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown.

However, just as was the case after Lackawanna’s first score, Albion answered right back with a touchdown to regain control.

This time is was an 18 yard Pritchard to Moore scoring pass with 8:32 to go in the period which upped the lead to 28-14. Runs of 15 yards by Brilliance Johnson and 12 by Deyonci Farley highlighted the drive.

Albion put a firm lock on the victory when DiCureia scored on a 2 yard run with 4:34 to go in the fourth quarter to make it 34-14. He helped set up that tally himself with a 22 yard run down to the 2.

The Purple Eagles defense shut the Steelers down in the second half as Ben Restivo and Farley had a key sack and Moore an interception.

Albion, which had defeated Lackawnna 43-8 during the B2 Division season, stays unbeaten at 8-0 while the Steelers wind up at 4-4.

Oakfield-Alabama/Elba 50, Holley 0
Building up a 30-0 half-time advantage, undefeated (6-0) Oakfield-Alabama/Elba went on to down visiting Holley 50-0 this evening in an 8 man contest.