The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Sports

October 25, 2013

Medina football readies to face Alden

MEDINA —

MEDINA — After a nearly season-threatening three-game losing streak, the Medina football team turned things around just in time last Friday, beating rival Albion 38-31 to earn a spot in this year’s Class B sectional playoffs.

 

Now, the do-or-die situation remains the same. In this week’s Class B quarterfinal matchup between B North 4-seed Medina and B South 1-seed Alden, the winner will advance, while the loser is done for the season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. tonight in Alden.

 

Albion was no pushover, but Alden poses quite a daunting challenge. 

 

“They’re a complete team,” Medina coach Eric Valley said of the Bulldogs, who have won 37 consecutive games in Section VI. “Their kids know how to win, and they have showed a lot of poise in all situations, coming from behind a few times. We know we’re going to have our hands full.”

 

Alden rolled through the regular season without a loss, producing a 7-0 record (6-0 Class B South) to set up what could be a lengthy playoff run.

 

To prevent that from happening, Medina will need to come up the type of performance it produced in season-opening blowout wins over Amherst (who defeated Lew-Port 21-20 last week) and Maryvale. Junior quarterback Jason Hellwig threw two passing touchdowns against Albion to break Levi Pace’s career record (Pace had 27; Hellwig now has 29), and Hellwig will be asked to come up big if the Mustangs hope to hang tough with the Bulldogs.

 

In preparation for tonight’s contest, Valley has tried to stick with the fundamentals in practice — which was held mostly inside on Thursday afternoon, to keep the poor weather from being a distraction as the team went through its pregame walk-through). The coaching staff points to Bulldog quarterback Brian Stoldt as a strong player who can take control of a game, while comparing the Alden team as a whole to Burgard — an opponent that defeated Medina 51-12 earlier this season.

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