READING — Reading extended its winning streak to 11 games with a 35-0 win over Stoneham on Thursday. But for one person on the sideline, the win had special significance.
John Fiore became the winningest football coach in Reading history with 103 victories.
“It just shows the great tradition that Reading’s had,” quarterback Corey DiLoreto said. “He’s one of the best coaches in the state and he really proves it week to week.”
“Him and all of our coaches do so much,” senior Will Connery said. “It means a lot for us to go out there and win for how much work they put into it.”
Although the Rockets (11-1) are in the Division 2 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, they took the matchup seriously.
Fiore said the team’s mantra was “play to win,” which it has done in the series, owning a 61-15-4 advantage over Stoneham.
“I’d be lying if I said winning is not important,” Fiore said. “With high school kids, you can’t take the pedal off the metal in a football game.”
The Rockets got off to a blazing start behind their starters. Connery scored off a 68-yard screen from DiLoreto just four plays into the game.
DiLoreto helped his team to a 28-0 lead at the half with another touchdown pass and one rushing TD. DiLoreto finished 11-of-11 passing for 166 yards.
Kicker Sean Naughton was flawless as well, going 5 for 5 on extra-point attempts.
Connery capped the scoring with his second TD, a 65-yard scamper early in the third.
“No one likes to eat turkey when they lose,” Connery said with a laugh. “It’s always great to play in front of all our fans and family.”
Reading’s swarming defense kept Stoneham off-balance. Stoneham netted only 36 yards on offense in the first half.
“They got off to a great start today and had a wonderful time on Thanksgiving Day, and off we go to the Super Bowl now,” Fiore said.
After opening with a 21-18 loss to BC High, Reading has put together a solid run, beating defending champion Marshfield, 28-14, in the semifinals.
Now one game remains, and it’s on the field of champions. The Rockets will face Nashoba (12-0) in the Division 2 final.
“We’ve talked about it since we were little,” Connery said.
“Our brothers have done it, we’ve all looked up to them and we’ve wanted to do what they’ve done.”