Foxborough, Mass. - With a 35-0 victory over the Medford Mustangs on Friday night, Rockland High School's Nicholas Liquori has been named this week's New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week.
Through their first six games, Rockland's defense has proven tough, averaging less than eight points allowed per game. The Bulldogs were particularly formidable this week, blanking the Mustangs and recording their second defensive shutout of the year. Defensively, it was the aggressiveness of Hunter Wardell, who intercepted a pass, and Jacob Moore, who recovered a fumble, that kept the high-powered Medford offensive attack at bay. However, Rockland relied on contributions in all three phases of the game, as Zack Ofurum's 95-yard kickoff return jumpstarted the scoring for the Bulldogs in the first quarter. Offensively, Dante Vasquez led the charge on the ground with 144 rushing yards and four first-half touchdowns to give the Bulldogs an early advantage, one they would sustain throughout the second half.
With the win, Rockland moves to 6-0 on the year and extends their win streak to 12-straight games dating back to 2018. They'll look to maintain their perfect record on Friday when they travel to take on Norwell.
Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, now the team's executive director of community affairs, met with the Rockland players and coaching staff Tuesday afternoon to present the football program with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Patriots Foundation, in honor of Coach Liquori. 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.
"Coach Liquori's Bulldogs put together an impressive defensive performance to secure a shutout against Medford," said Tippett. "They jumped out to an early lead thanks to standout performances on offense and special teams and never let up on the Mustangs, showcasing their dominance and never allowing their opponent to look comfortable in the game."
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.
For the ninth straight year, the Patriots will also be accepting nominations for High School Coach of the Week honors. Those who wish to nominate a high school football coach in New England who leads a team to an exceptional weekly performance or reaches a personal career milestone is encouraged to send submissions to 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 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.