Dick Diminuco, Alden High School head football coach, was named the Buffalo Bills & National Guard Coach of the Week #5 after his Bulldogs beat Depew 14-13 in a big Class B matchup last weekend.
Both teams had entered the game undefeated with 4-0 records. Depew was ranked 8th in New York State while Alden was ranked 3rd.
"This award is really a team award," Diminuco said. "The kids are the ones that won the game so this is their award more than mine."
Alden led 14-7 at the half and survived a 4th-quarter rally by the Wildcats.
"Obviously, Depew is an awful good football team," Diminuco said. "They might have been the better team. We made some mistakes and it costs us some points. But the kids are pretty resilient. We didn't play our best and they still came out with a win."
Alden scored twice in the second quarter to take a 14-7 lead at the half. Justin Patterson ran 76 yards for a TD to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
"He's a very good football player," Diminuco said. "He can find an opening and he is deceptively fast." Patterson finished with 140 yards rushing but missed most of the second half after he twisted his ankle.
"He had just four carries in the second half," Diminuco said. "He was really struggling and that hurt us. When he's in there, it's a little more difficult for teams to defend against us."
Late in the 2nd quarter, Quarterback Brian Stoldt tossed a 12-yard TD pass to Ryan Sosnowski to give Alden a 14-7 lead. In the 4th quarter, Depew scored to pull within a point, but a two-point conversion attempt on a fake kick was stuffed by the Alden defense, leaving the Bulldogs with a 14-13 lead.
Late in the game, Depew drove inside the Alden 10-yard line but missed a FG attempt on 4th-and-goal from the 12.
The game was played in front of a huge crowd.
"It was a great crowd," Diminuco said, "and they got to see a pretty good football game."
Diminuco is in his third year at Alden after coaching at Albion for 35 years. Two weeks ago, Diminuco led his team to a win over Albion for the second straight season.
"I really don't enjoy playing Albion," he said. "That's just not a fun week for me. Some of their coaches played for me and some were on my staff for a long time. This year, Albion had five or six kids whose father's had played for me. I really don't enjoy it at all."
Diminuco played high school football at Monroe High School in Rochester. As a senior quarterback in 1970, he was named the All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year, leading his team to an undefeated season and a league championship.
"I was four or five pounds lighter back then," Diminuco joked.
After graduating from high school, Diminuco went to Ottawa University in Kansas to play Division II football. He moved into the starting QB job with two games left in his freshman season. Over the next three seasons, had a career that would get him named to the Ottawa University Hall of Fame.
Diminuco is also inducted into the Section V football Hall of Fame. Diminuco has 226 wins in his career, a figure that is third in WNY history behind Johnny Barnes (Canisius, 287) and Gene Masters (Grand Island, 248).
"Obviously, football has been a very big part of my life," he said. "I've had a lot of great times because of football."
Each week during the 11-week high school football season a committee appointed by the Buffalo Bills will select a high school football head coach as the Buffalo Bills & National Guard Coach of the Week. Each honoree will receive a $2,000 donation to their high school football program from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation and New York National Guard. The eleven finalists are also eligible for the Buffalo Bills & National Guard High School Coach of the Year Award where an additional $2,000 grant for their high school's football program will be given.
As a result of Diminuco being named the week five Buffalo Bills & National Guard High School Coach of the Week winner, the Alden football program will be given the $2,000 awarded by the Bills and the New York National Guard.
Bills & National Guard Coach of the Week Winners:
Week 1: Steve McDuffie, Bennett Tigers
Week 2: John Faller, Sweet Home Panthers
Week 3: Dennis Gilbert, St. Joe's Marauders
Week 4: Jason Marsh, Salamanca Warriors
Week 5: Dick Diminuco, Alden Bulldogs