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 8 is Dean Santorio, head coach of the Grand Island Vikings. Santorio, who has been Grand Island's head coach since 2000, recently led the Vikings to a 38-32 double overtime win over South Park in the first round of the Class A playoffs. The critical victory extended the Vikings' record to 7-1 and kept the team alive in the postseason.
The Vikings, who went into the half up 20-6 over the Sparks, found themselves tied up in the third quarter. Grand Island pulled ahead 32-20 with just five minutes left to go in the game but then a South Park touchdown pass allowed the Sparks to cut into the Vikings' lead. The Sparks were able to even the score on a fumble recovery for a touchdown, which sent the game into overtime.
The contest went into another overtime round before Grand Island senior quarterback Cam Sionko connected with senior wide receiver Justin Gorrell on a nine-yard game-winning touchdown pass. Sionko finished the game 17-of-39 for 215 yards passing and three touchdowns. The versatile signal caller also caught a 14-yard touchdown pass and ran one in. Senior linebacker Ken Yockey paved the way on defense, compiling 12 tackles and a sack.
Next up, Grand Island is scheduled to take on West Seneca East on Friday, Oct. 26, with kickoff at 7 p.m.
The Rochester region Coach of the Week for Week 8 is Tim Sawyer, head coach of the Alexander Trojans. A 15-year coach at the school, Sawyer recently led Alexander to a 25-12 win over Red Jacket in the opening round of the Class D playoffs. With the win, the top seeded Trojans advanced to 8-0 on the season.
Alexander came out strong and held onto a 13-0 lead over Red Jacket until late in the second quarter. With just 1:10 left in the first half, Red Jacket found the end zone and cut into the deficit 13-6. The Trojans quickly responded when junior quarterback Dylan Busch found junior wide receiver Tyrone Woods on a 17-yard touchdown pass with :30 seconds left in the half. The game was neck and neck until late in the final quarter, but Alexander was able to seal with game with a late score.
On offense, Busch completed 10 of 16 pass attempts for 117 yards and a touchdown. Senior middle linebacker Jake Jasen was a standout on defense, managing 18 tackles.
The Trojans are scheduled to take on Perry/Mount Morris on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 4 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!