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.
The Buffalo region Coach of the Week for Week 6 is Craig Dana, head coach of the Orchard Park Quakers. On Friday, Oct. 5, Dana led the Quakers to a narrow 23-22 victory over Bennett High School. Coming into the contest, Bennett, who was in first place in the Class AA Division, got off to a 14-7 lead at halftime. Bennett extended the score at the start of the third quarter on a 68-yard kick return for a touchdown.
The Quakers answered back when junior quarterback Jack Sharp ran four yards for a touchdown. Electing to go for two points, Sharp connected with junior wide out Mike Pataky to cut into Bennett's lead 22-15. Rallying together, the Quakers found the end zone again with just 2:26 left in the game's final quarter. This time, Sharp found senior wide receiver Archie Bartolotti for a 10-yard touchdown pass and on the following two-point conversion to give the Quakers a 23-22 lead. The victory was sealed for Orchard Park when Bennett fumbled the ball and the Quakers recovered.
Sharp finished the game completing 12 of 28 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Pataky, who caught five passes for 45 yards and a touchdown, was also a standout on defense, compiling 11 tackles and one for a loss and a fumble recovery. With the win, the Quakers have advanced to 6-1 on the season and will take on Clarence on the road on Friday, Oct. 12.
The Rochester region Coach of the Week for Week 6 is Jeff Welch, head coach of the Canandaigua Academy Braves. Welch, who has been Canandaigua's head coach for eight seasons, led the Braves to a 12-0 shutout win over rival Victor last Friday.
The Braves came out strong in the first half as quarterback Jack Johnston connected with senior Mitch Pfeiffer on a 15-yard touchdown in the first quarter and senior Matt Vierhile on a 40-yard touchdown in the second quarter. The defense continued to take care of business in the game's final half with linebackers Seth Vigneri and JC Clifford each managing eight tackles and three for a loss to stun the Blue Devils.
The victory allowed the Braves to remain perfect at 6-0 on the campaign. The Braves have a chance to remain undefeated this Friday when they travel to Churchville-Chili to face the Saints at 7:30 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!