The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


October 17, 2013

Medina-Albion rivalry football game carries much meaning

Playoff berth on the line in 116th meeting


The Medina and Albion football teams would appear to be headed in distinctly opposite directions at this point in the season. Coach Eric Valley's Mustangs have lost three games in a row after a promising 3-0 start, while coach Tony Osburn's Purple Eagles have won three in a row after a 1-2 start. 


The longtime Route 31 rivals collide in tonight's Class B North regular-season finale, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. at Albion High School. Regardless of either team's record, the Medina-Albion game always carries added meaning based on the proximity between the two schools.


"Growing up in Albion, it was always a big game," Osburn said. "As a coach, you can pretend you don't know what week on the schedule it is, but you do. The Medina game is always a big game."


"I've been involved in this for 20-plus years as a player, coach and father, and it's a very special rivalry," Valley added. "It's been going on for so many years, it's two close communities, and a lot of people that know each other back and forth."


But this year, the outcome will carry even more weight. Playoff implications are at stake.


In Class B North play, Albion is 3-2, tied for third place with Bennett. Medina is 2-3 in the league, tied with Lew-Port and Amherst. Based on the system of tiebreaker scenarios, Medina needs to win by five or more points to secure one of the top four spots in the league — and the subsequent berth in sectional play — Valley said. If the Purple Eagles win, they secure a postseason berth.


Although recent results would suggest that Medina has tailed off near the end of the season, while Albion has surged, the truth is the Mustangs enjoyed a much easier schedule early in the season, while Albion's schedule has loosened up near the end. Medina's first two league opponents were bottom-feeders Amherst and Maryvale, while Albion started with league heavyweights Burgard and Cheektowaga.

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