FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With a 21-12 victory over Foxborough in the Division 4 semifinal game, Grafton High School (11-0) is headed to the Division 4 Super Bowl and Coach Chris McMahon has been named this week's New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week. The Gators will be vying for their first Super Bowl win since 2012.
Coach McMahon, currently in his ninth year as head coach, has guided the Gators to their second consecutive undefeated regular season and has built on last year's playoff run, that ended in the semi-finals, by leading the Gators to their first Super Bowl appearance since 2016.
Patriots, and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, now the team's Executive Director of Community Affairs, met with the Gators football team and cheerleading squad Tuesday morning to present the football program with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Patriots Foundation in honor of Coach McMahon. The visit and check presentation will be featured on the Patriots weekly television show, "Patriots All Access," which airs on Wednesday night, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV in Boston and will be available immediately after on Patriots.com.
"Congratulations to Coach McMahon and the Gators on their win over Foxborough to advance to the Division 4 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium," said Tippett. "Coach McMahon has done a fantastic job all season in coaching the Gators to an undefeated record and now to the Super Bowl. This is a talented team that has continued to improve throughout the course of the year. We wish them the best of luck in their rivalry game this week and look forward to hosting them at Gillette Stadium on December 2."
Senior wide receiver, Liam Donaghey, starred in the Gators victory over Foxborough. Donaghey scored all three touchdowns for Grafton. He got the scoring going early after an 11-yard touchdown catch from senior quarterback Casey Johnson midway through the first quarter. The duo connected on another touchdown early in the second quarter, this time a 26-yard pass-and-catch to take a 14-0 lead. Foxborough fought back and pulled within two at 14-12 in the fourth quarter. But Donaghey would not be denied and with a little over five minutes left in the game, he scooped up a punt at the Gators 1-yard line, juked out a couple of defenders at the goal line and found space on the sideline where he broke free for the game-sealing 99-yard punt return.
Grafton will face off against first seed Duxbury (10-0) at Gillette Stadium on Friday, Dec. 2 at 8:00 p.m. in the Division 4 Super Bowl. On Thursday, the Gators will play their annual Thanksgiving rivalry game against Milbury at 10:00 am at Milbury High School.
This is the 27th 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 2022 season marks the 11th year that the Patriots have sent Tippett to present the award to the coach at their school.
At the conclusion of the fall, one of the weekly winners will be named the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $2,000 contribution towards the school's football program.
Fans are encouraged to nominate any New England high school head coach who leads a team to an exceptional win, a record-breaking performance or reaches a personal career milestone by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations must be submitted following a team's Friday night or Saturday afternoon game to be considered for that week's Patriots High School Coach of the Week award.
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.