Foxborough, Mass. – After leading the Ashland Clockers to a thrilling 28-22 victory over Bishop Fenwick in the MIAA Division 6 State Championship at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, head coach Andrew MacKay has been named the 2019 New England Patriots Coach of the Year.
In the first half of the state championship game, senior quarterback Dominic Cavanagh threw a pair of touchdown passes to fellow senior Brian Gazard, but the Clockers trailed by one point at halftime. Ashland's defense rose to the challenge in the second half, keeping Bishop Fenwick to only 38 rushing yards over the final two stanzas. In the fourth quarter, the Clockers sealed the win with two more touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Cavanagh ended the game with 270 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and one rushing score.
The championship win marks the Clockers' first Super Bowl title since 1995. MacKay, a 2002 graduate of the school, led Ashland to a 12-1 record on the season.
This state championship victory held special significance to the Ashland community, as well. Throughout the 2019 season, the Clockers played in memory of two former teammates, P.J. Ferrier and Jake Silver, who both lost their battles with osteosarcoma in the past year.
As the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Year, Coach MacKay has also been nominated for the NFL Don Shula High School Coach of the Year Award. As part of the selection process, all 32 nominees from around the country will be invited to attend the Pro Bowl in January 2020.
Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, now the team's executive director of community affairs, met with the Ashland players and coaching staff Wednesday afternoon to present the football program with a $2,000 donation on behalf of the Patriots Foundation, in honor of Coach MacKay. The visit and check presentation will be featured on the Patriots weekly television show, "Patriots All Access," which airs on Friday night at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV in Boston and will be available immediately after on Patriots.com.
This is the 24th year in which the Patriots have joined the National Football League in conducting the High School Coach of the Week program, which recognizes outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth football throughout New England. The 2019 season marks the ninth year that Tippett has taken the award on the road to visit the schools that benefit from the program.
"Ashland put on a great performance to rally and beat Bishop Fenwick for the state title," Tippett said. "Congratulations to Coach MacKay and the Clockers on an exciting season and their first State Championship win since 1995."
The Patriots Foundation is the non-profit through which the Patriots support charitable and philanthropic organizations throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants, in-kind donations and player appearances. The foundation assists a variety of charitable organizations and programs throughout New England by supporting their educational, family and health initiatives.