Newtown football team wins state championship on anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting with last-second touchdown

USATSI

On Dec. 14, 2012, the community of Newtown, Connecticut was rocked by the tragedy of the Sandy Hook mass shooting. Seven years later, the community had a reason to celebrate as Newton High School defeated Darien High School 13-7 in the Class LL state championship on a game-winning touchdown as time expired.

Newtown quarterback Jack Street connected with Riley Ward on a 36-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone on the final play of the game. It marks the first state championship for Newtown since 1992.

The game was knotted 7-7 when Newtown forced a turnover downs with just 56 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Newtown began with the ball at their own 33-yard line before driving into Darien territory. The Nighthawks got the snap off with just three seconds remaining then Street hit Ward for the game-winning score.

As Ward made his way into the end zone, you can see the utter jubilation on his face. Ward proceeded to celebrate with his teammates and it was a scene of pure bedlam to say the least.

The Street-Ward connection was truly the difference for Newtown. Street had thrown a 75-yard touchdown to Ward earlier in the fourth quarter that tied the game. Ward finished with five receptions for 145 yards and those two huge touchdown catches.

Newtown scored all 13 of their points in the final quarter to clinch the state title. It certainly was an amazing ending to a day that saw an unimaginable tragedy seven years ago.

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