When the Albion and Medina rivalry football game was played on Veterans Day

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 November 2020 at 9:22 am

Contributed Photos – In action from the 1953 Albion vs. Medina Armistice Day game at Vets Park. At the left Albion’s Karl Klingenberger reaches for a pass while teammate Jack Gaze (40) tries to shield him from Medina defender Jim Raymondjack (74). At the right Medina defenders Jim Raymondjack, Cliff Fearby and Frank Ranallo try to stop Albion running back John Penasack.

On this Veterans Day it is interesting to note that for over 20 years the annual Albion vs. Medina high school football rivalry was renewed on this day.

Form 1937 to 1957 Albion and Medina clashed on the gridiron on what prior to 1955 was known as Armistice Day.

Albion held a 12-9 edge in the series during that 21 year stretch.

Medina though won the first Armistice Day contest in 1937 by a narrow 13-12 margin as Dean Sanderson ran for one touchdown and scored an extra point and Bob Vosler passed to James White for the other TD.

However, Albion evened the score by taking the 1938 contest 20-6 as James Aina scored three touchdowns.

That win started a string of five straight Albion victories as the Purple and White won 16-0 in 1939, 26-0 in 1940, 13-12 in 1941 and 21-7 in 1942.

Aina scored all of Albion’s points in 1939 as did Johnny Linko in 1941. Linko also had a pair of touchdowns in the 1942 win.

Medina did answer back with a three game winning streak as the Red and Blue won 26-0 in both 1943 ad 1944 an 12-6 in 1945.

Scott Whipple scored two touchdowns in the 1943 contest and Bob Brietsman and Ray Kujawa both tallied twice in the 1944 game.

Albion interrupted with s 28-7 victory in 1946 as Dale Burdett and Max Lubawy both scored a pair of touchdowns.

The teams then traded their longest winning streaks of the Armistice Day series.

Medina scored four straight wins (6-0 in 1947, 13-2 in ’47, 32-6 in ’48 and 26-6 in ’50).

A pass interception return for a touchdown by Merle Fredericks provided the only score of the 1947 contest and William Guzik passed for one TD and ran for another in the ’48 game.

John Eppolito then had a touchdown pass, a TD run and an interception return for a TD in the 1949 game and Bob Adams threw three TD passes in the 150 contest.

However Albion answered back with a lengthy six game victory streak (12-6 in 1951, 21-6 in ’52, 13-7 in ’53, 13-0 in ’54, 13-7 in ’55 and 19-0 in .56).

First quarter touchdowns by John Paganelli and Norm Penasack got Albion back on the winning track in 1951.

Don Brace scored two touchdowns and Norm Pieniaszek one in the Purple and White’s 1952 win while John Penasack threw a pair of TD passes to Charlie Derwick in the 1953 game. The 1956 contest saw Gene Ulianelli score both Albion touchdowns.

Medina did rebound to win the last now Veterans Day contest edging Albion 14-7 in 1957 as Dick Zielinski and LJ Harvey both had a touchdown and an extra point.

The Albion vs. Medina rivalry contest became part of the regular season schedule in 1958.

Prior to the Armistice Day series the Albion vs. Medina rivalry was played n Thanksgiving Day for over a dozen years from 1924 to 1936 but more on that series on Turkey Day.

In action from the 1955 Albion vs. Medina game at Vets Park Medina’s John Hammond breaks loose for a long run. Pursuing, from left, are Albion defenders Chuck Derwick, Larry Atwell and Carl Petronio along with Medina’s Paul Pettit.