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Purple Eagles beat the Steelers in Class B2 showdown

Albion- After an impressive win over Frontier last week the Lackawanna Steelers ran into a buzz saw Friday night. The Steelers committed four first half turnovers leading to a 43-8 road loss in their Section VI, Class B2 showdown with Albion.

Senior Ugene Harrison rushed for 114 yards and scored three touchdowns of 4, 2 and 40 yards respectively. On defense, Harrison made a one-handed interception in the first quarter to help lead the Purple Eagles to their second straight win. “We set the tone early,” Harrison said after he win. “We showed the coaches that if we work and put our minds to it we can accomplish anything.”

Harrison capped off the Purple Eagles opening drive with a 4-yard score. The key play of the drive was a 30-yard pass from Bryce Pritchard to Harrison while facing 4th and seven.

Steelers QB Jeremiah Caviness set individual game records in his first start last week. The story in Albion last night however was a chapter the senior will want to quickly forget. The Purple Eagles defense knew they would be facing a big kid with a strong arm, but they were ready and frustrated a Lackawanna offense that a week earlier put up 34 points.

The Steelers turned the ball over on their first 4 drives. Three interceptions and a fumble that ultimately led to 10 points. Prichard scored on an 11-yard scramble before the end of the half.

Prior to the fumble, Lackawanna caught a break. The Steelers defense recorded a safety to cut the deficit 10-2. Unfortunately on the ensuing drive, Caviness coughed up the football just past midfield while attempting to rush for a first down. The Purple Eagles quickly recovered and seized back the momentum.

The second half was all Albion.

Lackawanna had the opening drive of the second half and fumbled again soon after.

Moments later Harrison scored his second touchdown of the game to extend their lead 24-2.

Less than a minute later, Caviness was intercepted for the fourth time, Brilliance Johnson came up with the pick for Albion. Once again the Albion offense would make the Steelers pay as Pritchard hit Kevin Hillman for a 48-yard touchdown.

Lackawanna would score on their next possession. De’Marion Johnson capped off the drive with a 10-yard run. The big play of the drive was a 30-yard pass from Caviness to Nabial Nasr. During the play Caviness took a big hit just after delivering the pass, forcing him to the sidelines for a few plays.

Albion fumbled the ensuing kick return, giving Lackawanna prime field position. Caviness came back into the game only to throw another interception, killing another Steeler drive.

Harrison would score on a 57-yard touchdown run, straight up the gut to put Albion up by 29 points. Senior fullback Ryan Croft capped off the rout with a late rushing touchdown.

Senior WR/DB Matt Kovaleski made two interceptions and had two catches in the win for Albion. After the game he was excited about the quick start to the season for the Purple Eagles, “that was the best football I think we ever played,” Kovaleski said adding “we have to continue to work hard and trust our coaches and good things will happen.”

Last season Albion dropped their opening round playoff game to Dunkirk 25-7. That is certainly in the past and not something weighing down this year’s squad.

“We’re building a hell of a culture here in Albion,” Adam Krenning said postgame. Krenning is in his second season as the head coach of Albion. “We treat the kids with respect and they treat us with respect and that goes a long way. This offseason the kids put in a lot of time and effort.”

The player of the game was Harrison. Besides the explosive plays on offense and the three touchdown runs, Harrison made 7 tackles. His interception was one of the highlights of the season. “Ugene can fly,” Krenning said, “running the ball and at linebacker that kids amazing, he wants to improve himself every day.”

Albion is now 2-0 in Class B2 with a non-conference game coming up against Burgard (1-1) next Saturday.

Lackawanna travels to play Depew (1-1), Friday.

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