Football Team Loaded and Ready to Go
Joe Taft, Veritas Sports Editor
With the start of school comes the start of football season. Rockland High School’s football team is looking to make some noise in the South Shore League this season. After going 6-5 last season, they look to turn the program back into a consistently successful one.
The success the Dogs are looking for will start with their experienced offensive line. Led by the likes of seniors John MacDonald and Tim Kane, the team will lean on them for pass and run protection.
Senior Matt Dunn will take the helm at quarterback once again this year, and will look to add to his already solid resume. Dunn threw for 18 touchdowns last year, (a school record) but is without last year’s star wide receiver, Stephen Norris. Norris, now a college freshman, attends Norwich University and plays basketball.
In the opener, the Dogs ran away with a 28-7 victory over Cohasset on the road. Matt Dunn finished 11-16 for 175 yards passing with two touchdowns, (one passing, one rushing). Junior tight-end Zach Sharland found himself in the end zone in the winning effort, as did RBs Jon Baar and John Goode.
The Bulldogs went up against their arch-rival, the Abington Green Wave in week two at Rockland Veteran Memorial Stadium. Abington took a 16-0 lead into halftime, and Rockland didn’t score until Dunn connected with Sharland with 2:15 left to go in the third quarter. Abington’s QB Jack Maguire led the Green Wave into the end zone again to make it 23-8, but Dogs’ sophomore Mike Ebersole scored with 2:37 to go in the game to make it a one-possession game again. Rockland recovered the onside kick, but could not push the ball down the field, and ultimately lost 23-16.
For week three, Rockland took on a formidable opponent in East Bridgewater. Rockland went down 7-0 on the first possession of the game as EB marched down the field with ease. The Vikings scored again on a 56 yard touchdown run by Pat Snow to increase their lead to 14-0. The Dogs got on the board early in the second half, going 75 yards on 13 plays, when Matt Dunn found senior wide-receiver Jakigh Marcelin for a touchdown. The Dogs had a chance to tie late in the fourth quarter, but EB forced Rockland to punt and were able to run out the clock for a win.
Following two tough losses, Rockland looked to bounce back against their South Shore League foe, the Carver Crusaders.
Rockland’s defense came to play on Friday night. They only allowed one first-down in the first half, and constantly gave the offense a chance to put points on the board. They would do just that in the second quarter when Dunn hit Jakigh Marcelin for a 45 yard TD pass. The two would connect again later for an 18 yard score, after a Noah Mazzilli touchdown run at the end of the first half. Rockland rolled over Carver by a score of 27-6 to improve to 2-2 after four games.
Asked if the win over Carver turned the season around, Matt Dunn replied, “It’s still a little too early to tell. We should have beaten EB and Abington in a couple of one touchdown games but beating Carver gives us some confidence going into this week against Norwell. They’ll be tough, but if we can take them down, it’ll be a huge turning point.”