FOOTBALL: Branford silences Lyman Hall buzz

BRANFORD — Lyman Hall’s offense struggled on the road Friday night in a 34-0 SCC Tier 3 football loss to Branford.

Lyman Hall won its first game of the season last week in East Haven, but couldn’t string together two wins and fell to 1-4. Branford, meanwhile, improved to 4-1.

Kadin DeWallace set up under center as Lyman Hall opted to begin the game on offense. The QB converted on one pass to fellow sophomore Gavin Janowski, but he primarily used his legs.

Branford, after allowing 25 yards on the ground from DeWallace, forced a punt and began its initial drive from its 11-yard line. It seemed to be a good position for the Trojans, especially after the Hornets set themselves back with an illegal block and false start.

Running back Nathan Chieffo and quarterback Zachary Turbert fought their way out, though. Chieffo rushed for six yards and Turbert followed with an 11-yard completion on third down. It began a steady drive for the Hornets.

Turbert, Chieffo and Jermaine Smalls marched into Lyman Hall’s half, but reached fourth down and was set back again due to a delay of game. Nevertheless, Turbert completed the pass for a first down after evading a sack.

The conversion set the Hornets up at the 16, which allowed for a few rushes. The final one came from the 4-yard line as Smalls scored the game’s first touchdown with 1:57 remaining in the first quarter.

Lyman Hall’s next drive ended in a three-and-out before the quarter concluded. Branford topped it off with a blocked punt, setting itself up on the Lyman Hall 22-yard line.

The Hornets were forced into a fourth down, but Turbert cleared the first down marker again with a pass to senior John Frawley. Two plays later, Cole Snider, the tight end, snuck into the end zone.

The stifling Hornets’ defense persisted throughout the remainder of the half.

After three straight punts between the teams, Branford took over on its 49-yard line with 2:35 remaining in the half. Courtesy of a toe-tapping, 25-yard contested snag by Frawley on the sideline and three timeouts, the Hornets set up in the red zone.

Twenty-six seconds were plenty for Turbert to connect with Frawley on a post route for a touchdown that sent Branford into the break up 21-0.

The Hornets received the ball to begin the second half, granting them the opportunity to score on back-to-back drives. They didn’t even need another drive, however. Chieffo returned the kick for 75 yards to send the Hornets up 28-0 just 12 seconds into the second half.

Branford padded its lead with another touchdown. Turbert found senior Kevin Lee for the score, but they did not convert the extra point, putting the game at 34-0 just before the fourth quarter.

The Trojans began the fourth quarter with the ball, but Smalls intercepted a tipped pass on third down inside Lyman Hall territory. It didn’t result in a score, but the Hornets began milking the clock to the final horn, winning 34-0.

Lyman Hall is back next week against 4-0 New Fairfield. It will be the third road game in as many weeks. The Trojans don’t return home until Nov. 5 against Harding.

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