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Alden underlined its status as the No. 1 small school in Western New York, thanks to a tough defense, some turnovers and a whole lot of Corey Barczykowski.
Barczykowski ran for 252 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries as the top-ranked Bulldogs beat No. 2 Depew, 34-13, Friday night before an estimated Alden homecoming crowd of about 3,000.
"Our offensive line really controlled the game in the second half, and overall we were very consistent defensively," said Alden coach Dick Diminuco. "We played Bulldog football."
It is the fifth straight victory over the Wildcats (4-1) for two-time defending Section VI Class B champion Alden (5-0), which is now alone in first place in Class B East at 4-0. Alden won two games last year that were also matchups of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in The News small school poll, including in the Class B championship game.
On Friday, Alden had a 14-7 lead after a turnover-filled first half and held a 21-13 lead late in the third quarter.
It won its 25th straight game against Western New York opponents thanks in large part to 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior Barcyzkowski, whose number was called repeatedly in the second half. He ran for a 6-yard touchdown with 2:28 left in the third quarter that put the Bulldogs up, 28-13. He added a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter.
"Our team worked hard all offseason and now we're proving things on the scoreboard," said Barczykowski. "I felt awesome running today. The line did a great job opening up the holes. Jaronetay Thompson [5-8, 240 senior], you should see him hit people, he's a monster and he opens up great holes.
"Phil Zobrest [6-5, 205 junior], Eric Feitshans [6-5, 249 junior], Scott Rosier [6-foot, 217 senior], Josh Weisbeck [5-11, 242 senior] and Jason Bunk [6-3, 281 senior] just open up those holes so nicely for me, it's really appreciated when I can get those long runs."
All three scores in the first half came thanks to turnovers.
Depew scored first on a 5-yard Rodney Turner touchdown that ended a possession that began thanks to Cody Penner's interception.
The teams exchanged turnovers on the next two drives. A razzle-dazzle attempt by Alden blew up when Tyler Stoldt's pass over the middle was nabbed by Nathaniel Hyman. However, on Depew's first play from inside its 25, a fumbled snap gave Alden great field position at the Depew 22. Three Barczykowski runs later, he ran in for a 6-yard score and a tie game.
On Depew's next drive, another misplay led to great field position and a score for Alden, this time a 1-yard run by junior quarterback Stoldt.
Alden took a 21-7 lead on a turnover when senior Matt Shields scored on a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown on Depew's first series of the second half. Depew cut it to 21-13 on a 27-yard run by junior quarterback Anthony Buono with 8:29 left in the third.
Next week Alden heads to Medina before closing the regular season with a home game against Newfane.
Depew hosts East -- which Alden beat last week -- next Friday before closing its season with its rivalry game at Lancaster.
"It's a great win for our team," said Stoldt. "Our offensive line played great and Corey kept working hard, kept digging down deep. We just have to keep it going."

email: kmcshea@buffnews.com