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How big wins propelled two local teams to the playoffs and earned recognition for their coaches

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This week, as the Bills celebrated a come-from-behind win over the AFC East Miami Dolphins, they also teamed up with ADPRO Sports to recognize a pair of local football coaches. Through the Bills and ADPRO Sports High School Coach of the Week program, Dean Santorio, head coach of Grand Island, and Joe Zambito, head coach of Notre Dame of Batavia, were selected as Week 7 winners.

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As the Buffalo Region Coach of the Week, Santorio led his group to a big 37-20 win over Amherst. Coming into the contest, the Vikings not only needed a victory, they needed a 17-point victory. If both scenarios happened, the Vikings would earn their place in the Section VI Class A playoffs. As fate would have it, that's exactly what happened. With less than two minutes left on the clock, Grand Island was nursing a narrow 22-20 lead.

While things were starting to look bleak, the momentum shifted when the Vikings recovered a fumble. From there, the team scored 15 unanswered points in just 24 seconds! The Grand Island defense did their part too, stopping Amherst from reaching the end zone. A true team effort, the Vikings rallied to put on quite the performance, propelling them to the postseason. Credited with the late scores are senior Blake Bielec, who scored on a 15-yard reception, junior Justin Archer, who successfully recovered an onside kick, and senior Ben Moskala, who rushed for a TD and completed a two-point conversion.

With the win, the Vikings will take on Kenmore West on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.

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The Rochester Region Coach of the Week, Joe Zambito, also helped his team come away with a huge win over the weekend. Playing Alexander, the Fighting Irish produced a 40-point shutout win. Before the matchup, both teams were sitting at a perfect 6-0 on the season. Things escalated quickly, however. At end of the half, Notre Dame was up an awe-inspiring 32-0. Stunning Alexander who hasn't lost a regular season game in over two years, the Fighting Irish solidified the win in the second half.

By the end of the night, senior signal caller Gabe MacDonald completed seven passes on 10 attempts for 213 yards and a touchdown. Ball carrier Jed Reese put up 118 yards rushing on 20 tries for two scores and three two-point conversions. On defense, middle linebacker Cody Henry compiled 12 tackles, three of which were for a loss, and three QB pressures.

Next up, the Fighting Irish will get set to play York/Pavilion at home in the Section V Class D playoffs. The matchup is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26 at 1 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," presented by Kaleida Health, each Tuesday afternoon to hear the winners announced on the show. Good luck to all the high school football coaches this season from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports!

About the program:

The Buffalo Bills are once again proudly partnering with ADPRO Sports in 2019 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. During the 2019 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.

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