Rested Bran­ford rolls past Pom­per­aug

The News-Times - - SPORTS - By Dave Phillips

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.

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