Lackawanna could very well be a tough out in Class B this season.
That's the message the Steelers delivered on a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon at Veterans Stadium as they defeated visiting Alden, 24-7. It's their first win over the Bulldogs – perennial Class B contenders – since 2009.
Lackawanna forced three turnovers, scored on special teams, stuffed the run and prevented the Bulldogs' passing game from getting untracked before a crowd of an estimated 1,200.
Senior Khalil Horton scored twice, as did London Smith as the normally run, run, run Steelers proved they can also make plays through the air and special teams.
Play of the game: In the closing seconds of the second quarter, senior Noble Smith capped a two-minute drill drive with a 5-yard pass to twin brother London in the end zone. That not only gave Lackawanna a 12-7 lead heading into halftime but also came after Alden had just scored to take the lead on a 1-yard run by Bryan Cybulski.
Play of the game II: This goes to London Smith who took a punt 69 yards to the house late in the third quarter for Lackawanna's final touchdown of the game.
Player of the game: London Smith who also had an interception to go with his two touchdowns. He also was one of the key players in a Steelers secondary that limited Alden to just five completions on 12 tries. He also caught five passes for 49 yards.
Stats: For Lackawanna, Horton finished with 13 carries for 63 yards, Noble Smith completed 10 of 15 passes for 85 yards, one TD and one interception. Jakwon Ingram made seven tackles, including five for losses. Christian Snell caught four passes for 90 yards to lead Alden.
Score: Smith's interception on Alden's first pass attempt of the game led to a long Lackawanna drive capped by Horton's 3-yard touchdown run.
Bryan the playmaker: Quarterback Bryan Cybulski not only scored Alden's touchdown, but the drive started after his interception in the end zone prevented the Steelers from going up two scores in the second quarter. He also converted a fourth-and-14 with a 15-yard pass-play to Christian Snell during the scoring march.
Rankings: Alden came in ranked No. 6 in the News' Small Schools poll; Lackawanna entered No. 10.
Records: Lackawanna 3-0, Alden 2-1.
Next: Lackawanna heads to Medina for a Friday night clash, while Alden hosts Cheektowaga.