Medina Journal-Register — BUFFALO - Big defensive plays highlighted the action as Medina rolled to a 34-18 victory over East High Friday in a B East Division Game played at Riverside High.
Turnovers turned into touchdowns by Ben Austin and Lonnie Taylor capped off the huge night for the Medina defensive unit which also included an interception by Kyle Barna along with no less that four other stops of East drives inside the Medina 30.
"Our defense played great," Medina head coach Eric Valley said. "They just did a great job. East is a challenging team to defend but our kids did a real nice job. We hadn't really been forcing any turnovers so to force three of them and return two for touchdowns was a huge lift for our defense."
Offensively the Mustangs got touchdown runs by Barna and Danny Brown along with a touchdown pass from Dan Barnes to Barna.
The victory boosts Medina's record to 2-1 in the division and 3-2 overall as the Mustangs rebounded strongly from the 63-26 loss at Depew.
East did jump out to a 6-0 first quarter lead as a big 50 yard return of the opening kickoff set up a seven yard touchdown run by quarterback Jevente Glover.
However, the Medina defensive unit quickly settled down and came up with huge stops deep in Mustangs territory on the Panthers next two possessions.
First, tackles for loss by Barna on third down and by Forest Harper on fourth down stopped an East drive at the Medina 13.
Then Brandon Schoolcraft recovered an East fumble to stop a Panther drive at the Medina 26.
"That opening kickoff hurt us but then we buckled right down," Valley said.
Keeping the momentum, the Medina offensive unit then quickly drove for a score. A big 34 yard pass completion from Barnes to Taylor ignited that drive which was also highlighted by runs of 19 yards by Barna and12 by Jake Cotriss. Barna capped off the drive with a one yard touchdown run and quarterback Jason Hellwig added the two-point conversion pass to Barnes puttling the Mustangs on to pot stay at 8-6 with 6:04 to go in the second quarter.