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11/16/2022 11:03 AM

Hornets Defeat Lyman Hall in Military Appreciation Game

Junior Nate Florio ran for 211 yards with a pair of touchdowns to lead the Branford football team to a 25-22 victory at Lyman Hall in a Military Appreciation Game held in recognition of Veterans Day. Photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Sound
Senior Ava Ferrie and the Branford girls’ soccer team earned a win over North Haven in the first round of states before losing to Bethel on PKs in a second-round game. Photo by Kenneth Marangell/The Sound


The Branford football team picked up its third win of the year by posting a road victory versus Lyman Hall last week. On Nov. 10, the Hornets traveled to Wallingford to play Lyman Hall and won the game by the score of 25-22, improving their overall record to 3-5 with a mark of 1-3 in SCC Tier 3 this year. Lyman Hall dropped to 4-5 overall with a divisional record of 2-4 with the loss.

Branford and Lyman Hall played a back-and-forth game that saw the Hornets take the lead for good on a 64-yard touchdown run by junior Nate Florio early in the fourth quarter. The Hornets held Lyman Hall off the scoreboard for the rest of the way and came away with the 25-22 victory.

This contest marked one of several Military Appreciation Games in the state to commemorate Veterans Day last week. Lyman Hall wore specially designed Connecticut National Guard jerseys featuring a camouflage pattern in recognition of the event.

Florio put Branford on the board when he scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:43 remaining in the first quarter. The Hornets held a 6-0 lead after one.

Senior Drew Schwartz ran for a 5-yard TD to put Branford up 12-0 with 8:58 to play in the second quarter. Lyman Hall scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass for its first points of the game with 3:02 left in the opening half. The Trojans followed by converting the 2-point conversion pass to cut the Hornets’ lead to 12-8 at the break.

Lyman Hall grabbed a 15-12 lead after scoring on a 51-yard touchdown run just 18 seconds into the second half. Two minutes later, Branford responded with a 40-yard TD rush by junior Cole Snider to re-take the lead. Junior Joe Robinson hit the extra point to make the score 19-15 in favor of the Hornets.

Right after that, Lyman Hall’s quarterback threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to give the Trojans a 21-19 lead with 8:20 to play in the period. Lyman Hall hit the extra point and held a 22-19 advantage through three quarters.

However, Florio broke off a 64-yard touchdown run 58 seconds into the fourth quarter to give Branford a 25-22 lead. That held up as the final score as Branford’s defense allowed nothing more throughout the rest of game. Lyman Hall’s offense had one last chance in the final minute, but senior Ethan Onofrio picked off the Trojans’ QB to solidify the win for the Hornets.

Florio had a huge game by rushing for 211 yards and 2 touchdowns on 28 carries for Branford in the victory. Snider had a fine night in his own right by running the ball 15 times for 100 yards and a touchdown. The Hornets had 59 carries for 397 yards as a squad in the game.

Senior quarterback Zach Turbert went 6-of-11 passing for 60 yards in the win. Senior Brian Page had 4 receptions for 24 yards for Branford.

Branford’s next game is a divisional contest against Bassick (0-9, 0-5) at Kennedy Stadium in Bridgeport on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. The Hornets will then host East Haven in the annual Thanksgiving game between the rivals on Thursday, Nov. 24 at 10 a.m. at Branford High School.

The Hornets are currently in the No. 10 spot in the Class M State Playoff rankings in which the top eight teams qualify.

Girls’ Soccer

The Branford girls’ soccer team earned a win versus North Haven in the first round of the Class L State Tournament before taking a loss against Bethel on penalty kicks in a second-round game last week. The Hornets finished with an overall record of 14-6 for the 2022 season.

No. 8 seed Branford kicked off the state tourney by claiming a 6-0 home win against No. 25 seed North Haven on Nov. 8. Sophomore Bryce Infantino scored 2 goals in the 2nd minute of the game to give the Hornets a quick 2-0 lead. Junior Lucy Moran had the assist on Infantino’s second goal.

Infantino assisted freshman Ava Gambardella for a goal that put the Hornets up 3-0 in the 16th minute of the game. Junior Tess Ferrie scored from freshman Clara d’Amuri in the 36th minute to increase Branford’s lead to 4-0 at halftime.

Tess Ferrie scored on an assist by Infantino to make it 5-0 in the 57th minute of the contest. Tess Ferrie scored from senior Ava Ferrie in the 64th minute to put the finishing touches on a 6-0 win for Branford.

Two days later, the Hornets hosted No. 9 seed Bethel for a second-round states game and took a 2-1 defeat after losing by a 5-3 margin on penalty kicks. Bethel scored a goal in the 35th minute of the game and held a 1-0 lead at halftime. The Hornets tied the score at 1-1 when Moran scored from Ava Ferrie in the 44th minute.

After no more goals were scored through the rest of regulation and overtime, Branford and Bethel went to penalty kicks to decide the winner. Bethel won the PK session by a 5-3 score to win the game and advance to the Class L quarterfinals.

Girls’ Volleyball

The Branford girls’ volleyball team saw its season come to a close with a defeat against Granby in the first round of the Class M State Tournament last week. No. 25 seed Branford was on the road to face No. 8 Granby in the first round of states and took a 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-18) loss in the contest on Nov. 7. The Hornets finished their season with an overall record of 11-11.