Rested Branford rolls past Pomperaug
BRANFORD — Branford came into Friday night well rested after a bye week.
The Hornets took advantage of the two weeks they had to prepare and used it to blow out Pomperaug, 35-15, in a Connecticut High School Football Alli- ance game at the James MacVeigh
Alumni Athletic Complex.
“It was a little nerveracking coming in because we didn’t practice tremendously well over the last couple days,” Branford coach John Limone said. “The kids needed to come play a game.”
It was a huge win for Branford (4-1) when it comes to the CIAC Class L playoff standings. The Hornets moved up to the fourth spot in the Class M standings thanks to the 140 points it received from beating Pomperaug.
“We knew it was a big game, but we’re not thinking playoffs yet,” Limone said. “We still have Law, Amity and Sheehan left.”
It was also totally different night for Branford quarterback Sean Kelly, who struggled against Notre Dame-West Haven in a 33-14 loss two weeks ago. Kelly was involved in all five Hornets touchdowns as he threw three touchdown passes and ran for the other. He was 10-for-12 in the air for 198 yards and also ran for 46 yards on 13 carries.
“I figured out what I needed to work on and fix,” Kelly said. “We were a lot more aware of what was going on in the game.”
“I thought he was a lot sharper tonight,” Limone said. “I think he’s entitled to a bad here and there.”
Branford took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter after a Kelly 10-yard scoring strike to Spencer Landsbach and an 8-yard run of his own.
The Panthers closed it to
14-7 with 4:02 remaining until halftime when Alex Hummel scooted in for three yards.
At halftime, Branford made a big adjustment defensively and that helped the Hornets.
“They pushed us around in the first half, but Coach (Mike) Tracy came up with a great adjustment at halftime,” Limone said. “We didn’t want to let them beat us inside. We wanted to try and spill the ball to the outside.”
It enabled Branford to control the ball and the Hornets scored three times in the third quarter. Kelly scored from a yard out and then he hit Jackson Seward from 12 yards out and hit a wide open Aiden MacNeil over the middle for a 62yard touchdown pass to make it 35-7 after three quarters.
Pomperaug got 69 yards rushing from Hummel and 56 from Jacob Oldham, but most of the night the Panthers spent running between the 30-yard lines.
“We didn’t finish drives and when you don’t block and tackle the way you should, that’s the result,” Pomperaug coach Tony Pereira. “They did a good job of gang tackling.”
The Panthers closed out the scoring with three minutes remaining when James Gannon scored from nine yards out.
“We played better in the second half, but that has to sustain for four quarters,” Pereira said.