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Sport Newtown wins football state championship with a walk-off touchdown on anniversary of Sandy Hook school shooting

04:42  15 december  2019
04:42  15 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown , Connecticut, United States , when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people

Newtown High School quarterback Jack Street threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Riley Ward on the final play of Saturday's Connecticut Class LL state championship game against Darien, giving the Nighthawks a 13-7 win and the state title on the seventh anniversary of the

For the first time in nearly two-plus hours of football, the dense fog that hung low all game lifted just enough to give Newtown one last chance as its offense approached the line of scrimmage.

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Melissa Samoskevich is from Newtown and the day of the Sandy Hook school shooting Her twin brother and sister were in fifth grade, locked down in the nearby middle school , but She had gone to Sandy Hook Elementary School . She led the U.S. team in scoring as a member of the U-18 hockey team, which won its first gold medal since 2011 at the Women’s World Championship in Buffalo that

The Newtown High School football team dedicated its season this year to the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook massacre and finished the season this week with an undefeated record. The team will now head into the state championship tournament which is tentatively scheduled to be completed on Dec.

Tied with Darien in the Class LL state title game, Newtown broke from a timeout after seeing a hole in the Blue Wave defense they felt they could expose. The ball was snapped to junior quarterback Jack Street, who shuffled around the pocket before unloading a pass to senior wide receiver Riley Ward who was streaking across the field relatively uncovered on a post corner route.

Ward caught the pass in stride, took two steps and was in the end zone as time expired with a 36-yard touchdown, giving Newtown a 13-7 walk-off state championship win and clinching a perfect season — seven years to the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that left 26 children and educators dead.

“Absolutely amazing,” Newtown coach Bobby Pattison said after the game. “I’m so proud of my kids for not giving up. We had moments in that game where it didn’t look too good for Newtown ... I’m so proud of the kids. I couldn’t be happier.”

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Ward didn’t stop running after the touchdown, as he ripped his helmet off and threw it in the air, sprinting all the way to the fencing surrounding the outskirts of the stadium at Trumbull High. He was soon joined by the rest of his teammates, coaches and the horde of green-clad Newtown supporters that cleared the once-packed stands, all overcome with emotion.

Some members of the team had attended Sandy Hook. Ben Pinto, whose younger brother Jack was killed in the shooting, plays linebacker for Newtown.

To honor the victims, Newtown supporters were largely clad in green apparel and face paint to honor the Sandy Hook victims. The cheerleaders wore green bows atop their head. Many Newtown players had green tape, paint or apparel on their person somewhere. Even fans from Darien wore green.

Pattison credited the Newtown school and community for the support the team had received not just Saturday, but all season long. It was a celebration for the entire town, many thought, and not just the members of the football program.

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The Newtown , Conn. high school football team completed an undefeated regular season on Tuesday that players and coaches had dedicated to the victims of last December's massacre at the town 's Sandy Hook Elementary School .

NEWTOWN , Conn. — A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, a day of memorial services and moments of silence to mark the sixth anniversary of the massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators. Teachers and students at the school were sent home

“The whole town showed out on this special night,” said senior Jared Dunn. “We knew we had to bring it home for our town. 27 years, it’s crazy. This is crazy.”

A rematch of last year’s Class LL quarterfinal which Newtown won, the game that could be best described as a defensive battle, as both teams struggled with visibility due to a thick fog. The Nighthawks forced Darien to turn the ball over on downs on Newtown’s 31-yard line with 56 seconds left in the game, tied at 7-7. Newtown advanced to the 36-yard-line with 3.6 seconds remaining.

The offense lined up, ready to find Ward on a corner-post route, ready for one last play, one last shot at avoiding overtime, before Newtown saw Darien’s safety lined up deep in the middle field, which would in theory give Ward, their go-to receiver, enough time to get open and make a play. The Nighthawks called a timeout, and drew up a new play - a post-corner route.

Sure enough, it worked.

“I think he’s one of the state’s best receivers,” Pattison said. “That kid can play ... we knew we were going to Ward the whole time.”

Dunn was a defensive force for the Nighthawks. He recovered a Darien fumble, sacked quarterback Peter Graham, intercepted a tipped pass in the third quarter and batted down a ball at the line of scrimmage in the fourth. He was instrumental in making Newtown’s offense churn, too.

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WATCH: Newtown wins state football championship — on seven year anniversary of Sandy Hook massacre. Seven years after the tragic Sandy Hook massacre, Newtown High School won the Connecticut state high school football championship with a walk - off touchdown .

WATCH: Newtown wins state football championship — on seven year anniversary of Sandy Hook massacre. Seven years after the tragic Sandy Hook massacre, Newtown High School won the Connecticut state high school football championship with a walk - off touchdown .

“Jared is a tremendous player, he’s one of the state’s best,” Pattison said. “He’s the emotional leader of this team, he gets everyone fired up. I expect nothing less from him in a big game.”

Darien, which played in its fifth final in six years, scored first in the second quarter on a 17-yard pass from Graham to Ryan Mulliken. The score remained 7-0 in the Blue Wave’s favor until Street connected with Ward for a 75-yard, game-tying touchdown with 6:58 remaining.

Long after Darien had left the field and boarded its buses, and the celebration had died down from a raucous roar to low murmur, the Newtown team, alongside friends, families and supporters gathered at midfield and celebrated among themselves,

The fog had disappeared. It was just shades of blue, white, and green, and a football family.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Ward said. “I love this town, I love everybody. I’m at a loss for words.”

Shawn McFarland can be reached at smcfarland@courant.com

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©2019 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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Sandy Hook families commemorate anniversary with stark message .
The seventh anniversary of Sandy Hook was commemorated by victims of gun violence. Twenty-six people, including 20 children, were killed on Dec. 14, 2012, when a gunman entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and opened fire.

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