Hornets Defeat T-Birds, 42-12, Before Huge Crowd

All photos by Bill O'BrienWTNH Channel 8 received over 320,000 votes from fans for the recent Branford-North Branford football game, and looking at the packed house sitting in the in the stands and surrounding the field, it looked as if many of them were at the game. Ryan Christopher of WTNH (left, grey shirt) gets the BHS students worked up early on game day morning.

A little pre-game kidding around by North Branford Schools Superintendent Scott Schoonmaker (left) and Branford Schools Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez.

It was the biggest crowd to witness a game at the James L. MacVeigh Alumni Athletic Complex in more than 10 years. It was the first time the Hornets and Thunderbirds played since 1985, and there was a lot of interest with fans of both teams. Branford defeated their neighbors to the North by a score of 42-12

Part of the overflow crowd. All the seats and standing room were filled at the renewal game.

“It resembled the huge crowds that came to the Thanksgiving Day game with East Haven back when,” said Recreation Director Alex Palluzzi. “It was a great atmosphere and I think lots of people would like to see it happen each year.”

Captains for the 2018 season include Jackson Seward (left), Sean Kelly, coach John Limone, Robert Olejarczyk, and Christopher Bouton.

And they come out for the coin flip.

The schedules won’t allow that to happen on a regular basis. Branford is in the Southern Connecticut Conference and North Branford is in the Pequot Conference. It came together as a result of Creed (formerly Hyde Leadership School) in New Haven closing and Nonnewaug of Woodbury dropping varsity football. As a result, the powers to be found a way to make the game happen.

The Hornets took control of the T-Birds early in the game on a perfect pass play from quarterback Sean Kelly to junior tight end Chris Bouton good for a 58-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Three more unanswered touchdowns followed in the second quarter giving the Hornets a 26-0 halftime lead that they never relinquished.

Sean Kelly breaks free on a 25-yard touchdown run.

Kelly then gets by a T-Bird defender.

Sophomore Kam Holmes also gets by a T-Bird defender.
The school band added a lot of spirit to the game.

Rob Lionetti returns a kickoff 25 yards for the Hornets.

Quarterback Sean Kelly and tailback Jackson Seward led the Hornets’ offense. Kelly ran 18 times for 87 yards including a 25-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left in the second quarter. He also went four for 10 passing for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Seward carried the ball six times and picked up 67 yard and scored three touchdowns.

Following a block by Ian McDonald (58), Seward scores from three yards out.

North Branford’s Marquis McFadden has a roadblock in front of him as Nick Chieffo (42) and Jammal Gethers close in.

Sophomore Kam Holmes gets by a T Bird defender. 

The BHS cheerleaders gather during a timeout.

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