Newtown football beats Darien on final play to win Class LL state title on anniversary of Sandy Hook

Published on Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:19


TRUMBULL - The ending could not have been anymore perfect for the Newtown football team.

On the seventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the top-seeded Nighthawks won their first state championship since 1992 in walk-off fashion.

Tied at 7-7 with third-seeded Darien, Newtown quarterback John Street connected with Riley Ward for a 36-yard touchdown through the fog as time expired to give the Nighthawks a 13-7 win on Saturday at Trumbull High School for the Class LL state championship, setting off a wild celebration.

Ward ripped off his helmet and ran through the back end toward the Newtown sideline with many of his teammates yelling and giving chance.

The senior receiver finished with five catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the fourth quarter. Street found Ward over the middle and he broke free for a 75-yard touchdown with 5:02 left in the fourth to tie the game.

The ensuing three drives resulted in back and forth punts and a turnover on downs, which put the Nighthawks on their own 32-yard-line with less than a minute to play. 

Defense had been a surplus for most of the contest as Darien took a 7-0 lead into halftime. Blue Wave quarterback Peter Graham linked up with Ryan Mulliken midway through the second quarter for a 17-yard touchdown.

Darien's second-quarter touchdowns were the only points Newtown allowed in the postseason. This was the eighth time the Nighthawks held a team to fewer than 10 points this year.

Posted in The Bristol Press, General Sports on Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:19. Updated: Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:25.