Eric Jantzi, North Tonawanda head football coach, was named the Buffalo Bills High School Football Coach of the Week #9.
"That's very nice," Jantzi said. "But, I didn't get out on the field. The kids deserve the award."
The Lumberjacks beat long-time nemesis Orchard Park 21-7 in the Class AA semifinals last weekend to advance to the AA championship game at Ralph Wilson Stadium Saturday.
"They've had our number in the playoffs," Jantzi said. "It's nice to get over the hump."
Joe Montesanti opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 50-yard run on an option play. Aaron Davis caught a 6-yard TD pass from Mike Tuzzo to give NT a 14-0 lead at the half.
Tom Sell ran for a 30 yard second half score to give NT a 21-0 lead before Orchard Park scored a late touchdown to break the shutout.
North Tonawanda will play Lancaster for the Section 6 AA title Saturday, at 6:00 p.m., at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"Our kids are pretty focused," Jantzi said. "It was an emotional game for them. These seniors haven't lost a game on their home field in their entire careers so they wanted to make sure they won this one."
Jantzi said that he has enjoyed working with this group of players. "I love their work ethic," he said. "It's a refreshing group of kids. They don't care about anything but winning football games."
Jantzi played high school football at Springville under coach Mick Nugent and graduated in 1987. He went on to play four seasons at Bucknell University, majoring in Biology and Chemistry and also minored in Education. Jantzi coached in South Carolina for one year before returning to Western New York to teach at Williamsville East. After two years he took a teaching job at North Tonawanda. Jantzi served as an assistant coach for Dave Anastasi, serving as the offensive coordinator from 1997 until 1999. He was named the head coach in 2000. Jantzi is also a biology teacher at North Tonawanda High School.
This is the 13th consecutive year of the Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week program. Each week during the 11-week high school football season, a committee appointed by the Buffalo Bills selects a head football coach as Coach of the Week.
The honorees receive a certificate signed by the Dick Jauron, Buffalo Bills head coach, Russ Brandon Buffalo Bills general manager/chief operating officer and Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner. They also receive a Buffalo Bills Coach of the Week cap and $1,000 donation to their school's football program from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation. Recognition of the winning coach will also be shown on the Buffalo Bills official website (www.buffalobills.com).
At the end of the season, one of the weekly award winners will be named Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $1,000 donation to the school's football program.
2009 Bills HS Football Coach of the Week Winners:Week 1 - Kraig Kurzanski Williamsville South Billies
Week 2 - Jason Kolb Burgard Bulldogs
Week 3 - Chuck Tilley Eden Raiders
Week 4 - Jay Sirianni Southwestern Trojans
Week 5 - Len Jankiewicz Lancaster Trojans
Week 6 - Scott Zipp Cheektowaga Warriors
Week 7 - John Faller Sweet Home Panthers
Week 8 - Dean Santorio Grand Island Vikings
Week 9 – Eric Jantzi North Tonawanda Lumberjacks