Corey Barczykowski was a load to take down in Alden’s Far West Regional win. The Bulldogs won the sectional title for the third straight season before winning at All High Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Barnes)
The third time truly was the charm for the Alden High School football team.
After two near misses in the Far West Regional, the Bulldogs got over the hump in grand style on Saturday (Nov. 10), rolling to a 35-7 win over East Rochester/Gananda at All-High Stadium.
“It’s exciting,” Alden coach Dick Diminuco said. “Our kids, what a great group of kids; they work hard. I’m proud of them.”
The Bulldogs’ last two playoff runs ended with heartbreaking losses to Hornell. The Red Raiders are now in Class C, so Alden was denied a chance at revenge. But the Bulldogs are more than happy to take a trip to the state final four any way they can get it.
“After we lost two years in a row to Hornell, we wish we could have played them again,” senior running back Corey Barczykowski said. “But this (East Rochester) team came out strong. They’re scrappy and they like to hit hard. But we ended up getting the job done.”
And as usual, Barczykowski played a major part in getting that done. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound standout ran for 273 yards and three touchdowns, pushing his season total to a school-record 2,136.
“He might sleep good tonight,” Diminuco said.
For the first time in program history, Alden will play in the state semifinals. The Bulldogs will face Section IV champion Maine-Endwell at 3 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 17) at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.
“Next week’s going to be a tough game but I think we’re ready for it,” Barczykowski said. “We’re a tough team and we can’t wait to play again.”
Barczykowski was unstoppable early and gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead with a short touchdown run. But the Section V champ Bombers answered late in the second quarter on a 7-yard scoring pass from Hauser to Fischer.
Alden, however, had a counter punch right before the half and took the lead for good. Quarterback Brian Stoldt led the drive and finished it off with a 13-yard TD pass to Austin Hopcia.
“Touchdown pass at the end of the first half was big, no question,” Diminuco said.
Barczykowski added second-half touchdown runs of 29 and 20 yards and Stoldt capped the scoring with a 2-yard TD run.