The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — At the end of the third quarter, neither Tonawanda or Albion had found their way to the endzone. That changed quickly in the fourth.
The teams combined for three scores in the final eight minutes, but Tonawanda found itself on the losing end of the late offensive outburst by the Purple Eagles by a score of 16-6.
After going down 8-0 on an Albion score, Clayton Hess led Tonawanda 70 yards on the ensuing drive and capped it off with a 17-yard rushing touchdown with just over three minutes left.
The two point conversion failed, and the Warriors were forced to try an onside kick, which they were unable to recover.
Albion then broke off a long run for a score that ended the Warriors' hopes of a comeback.
Despite the loss, coach Rob Gross was very pleased with his defense, who forced a pair of turnovers, and kept Tonawanda within striking distance until the final possession.
"We gang tackled and contained their running game," Gross said. "They caused some turnovers and really swarmed to the football tonight. We were just a couple plays away."
Steven Warthling led the charge for the Warriors with eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Josh Westervelt and Todd Banks added seven tackles apiece.
Despite falling to 1-7 on the year, Gross thinks his team is just on the cusp of finding the win column.
"Our guys have faced a lot of adversity this year and they've played well in most of our games," Gross said. "It seems like we're just a few plays away from success. I'm proud of our guys and how they fight and don't give in. They come to play every day. They can look in the mirror in the morning because they do everything that we ask."
Tonawanda will close out its season at home next Thursday against Newfane.