The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Sports

September 19, 2013

Mustangs aim for 3-0 start against fast-paced Tigers

MEDINA —

The last two weeks, Medina faced slower-paced offenses in Amherst’s double-wing and Maryvale’s Wing T Hybrid. The Mustangs had plenty of success, outscoring the two Class B North foes by a combined 92-20 margin.
The accolades are there, too. Now 2-0, Medina cracked the top 10 in this week’s coaches poll of local small schools, checking in at No. 10.
The team looks to carry the momentum into tonight’s home game against Akron (1-1) at Veterans Park, the third straight home game for the Mustangs. Akron brings a fast-paced, up-tempo offense that will bring unique challenges compared to Medina’s first two opponents, head coach Eric Valley said.
To prepare, Valley and his staff have preached tempo during this week’s practice, whether it be in standard drills, 7-on-7 play or full team work. Akron can be expected to run a lot of plays and force the Medina defense to spread itself out on the field, Valley said.
“It’s going to be much more up-tempo than what we’ve seen before,” Valley said. “It’s our first time seeing spread, and it’s a whole new monster for us. This week, we’ve been trying to do things that will push guys when they’re exhausted.”
The Tigers also bring a significant offensive threat in versatile wide receiver Austen Lauricella, who had 12 receptions for 201 yards in last week’s 28-13 loss at Cleveland Hill. Lauricella scored twice in the second half of that game, on catches of 35 and 50 yards from quarterback Carl Longwell.
Although the Medina defense has played admirably in allowing only two offensive touchdowns over the first two weeks (one of Maryvale’s scores came on a pick-six), the team carries plenty of respect for the challenges posed by the explosive Lauricella.
“That kid’s kind of haunted us the last couple of years,” Valley said. “He’s extremely explosive, and he’s very, very solid across the rest of the field. He’s a great special teams player, a great defensive player, they can put him in the slot, and they can put him at running back. He’s a guy that we’re really trying to slow down.”

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