T-Birds’ Football Falls to Ansonia in Class S State Quarters
The North Branford football team entered the Class S State Playoffs as the No. 8 seed and traveled to face top-ranked Ansonia in the quarterfinal round on Nov. 29, taking a 43-13 loss to finish its campaign 6-5 overall. The T-Birds returned to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
Mason Provencher had a touchdown pass, while Jack Meehan added a rushing score. Provencher was also the T-Birds’ leading ground gainer with 126 yards on 13 attempts. Elias Defaranos had a 5-yard TD catch. On defense, Tyler Serenson led with 11 tackles and Dradon Brindisi added 10.
Against the top-seeded Chargers, North Branford was down 20-0 after the opening quarter after a trio of TDs by Ansonia. The hosts followed in the second with a 2-yard touchdown rush and 64-yard TD toss, both which were succeeded with converted two-point conversions, to lead 36-0 at the break.
The T-Birds finally got on the scoreboard in the third via a 5-yard touchdown pass to Defaranos to shorten their deficit to 36-6. North Branford added another score with a minute remaining in the matchup from Meehan, but it was too little too late as the Chargers held on to move into the semifinal round.
For the regular season, Head Coach Mark Basil and North Branford defeated Old Saybrook-Westbrook (48-7), Stafford-East Windsor-Somers (26-20 in overtime), Capital Prep (28-22), Windsor Locks-Suffolk-East Granby (41-26), Morgan (55-14), and Coginchaug/Hale-Ray/East Hampton (51-18). The T-Birds’ losses came against Valley Regional-Old Lyme (13-7), Cromwell-Portland (27-13), SMSA (34-12), and Haddam-Killingworth (H-K) (15-14). Three of the four North Branford losses came versus teams that qualified for the playoffs. H-K, which was in postseason contention entering the regular campaign’s final week, was the only outlier.