The Buffalo Bills are once again proudly partnering with ADPRO Sports in 2018, to recognize some of the best high school football coaches Western New York has to offer, through the High School Coach of the Week program. Throughout the 2018 high school football season, the Bills and ADPRO Sports will recognize 11 coaches from both the Buffalo and Rochester regions on buffalobills.com. The winners will be selected by a committee of high school football experts from each region.
Winning coaches will receive a $1,000 grant for their school's football program, a framed certificate recognizing their accomplishment and an invitation to join the Bills on-field Dec. 16, for a pregame ceremony prior to kickoff against the Detroit Lions. At the game, a High School Coach of the Year will be honored from each region, with those winners receiving an additional $1,000 for their football program.
To kick off this year's program, Eric Valley, head coach of Medina, and Dave Marean, head coach of Wayne Central, were selected as the High School Coach of the Week winners for Week 1.
As the Buffalo Region Coach of the Week, Valley helped lead the Medina Mustangs to a narrow 14-12 victory over the Depew Wildcats. Coming into the contest, which took place on Friday, Aug. 31, at Medina's home field, the Mustangs were playing with just 17 eligible players due to injuries incurred in the preseason. Medina overcame an early 6-0 deficit in the second quarter when senior quarterback Izaiah Rhim, took it 55 yards to the house to put the Mustangs up 7-6.
Before the half was over, the Wildcats found their way back to the end zone, sending them into the locker room nursing a 12-7 lead. Down but certainly not out, the Mustangs defense held the Wildcats to a scoreless second half. Rhim solidified the win for Medina, running 50 yards for a touchdown. On defense, senior Zach Johnson contributed to the victory with a key block that aided Rhim on the run.
Up next, the Mustangs are scheduled to take on Griffith Institute on the road on Friday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.
Dave Marean, the Rochester Region Coach of the Week, led the Wayne Eagles to a Week 1 overtime win against the East Rochester-Gananda Bombers on the road. Off to a solid start, the Eagles maintained a lead into the fourth quarter. However, East Rochester-Gananda scored a touchdown and a two-point conversation early in the fourth to pull ahead of Wayne 22-21. Shortly after the score, an Eagles turnover offered the Bombers a quick trip to the end zone.
With senior quarterback Grayson Zenelovic at the helm, Wayne answered back as Logan Blankenberg hauled in a 23-yard pass for a touchdown. Wayne kicker Anthony Muratore then kicked the extra point to tie the score at 28-28. East Rochester-Gananda's offense saw the field first in overtime, scoring on the drive but missing on the two-point conversion. For Wayne, running back Billy Thompson tied the game with a one-yard touchdown and Muratore kicked his fifth extra point of the game to seal the win. Zenelovic finished the game 15-for-20 for 262 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, junior Jonah Pullen was a standout with 25 tackles and three for a loss.
Wayne will take on Midlakes at home on Friday, Sept. 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Check back on Buffalobills.com each week for the announcement of the Coach of the Week winners and tune in to "One Bills Live" each Tuesday afternoon to hear the winners announced on the show. Good luck to all of the high school football coaches this season from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports!