Newtown High School Football Team Wins State Championship on Anniversary of Sandy Hook Massacre

With just seconds left on the clock, the high school football team in Newtown, Connecticut, scored a winning touchdown during the state championship game — on the same day as the massacre that left 26 people dead in their town seven years prior.

Newtown Nighthawks senior wide receiver Riley Ward scored the touchdown just as time expired, ending the game with a 13-7 victory over the Darien Blue Wave, according to The Washington Post.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Ward told the Hartford Courant after the game. “I love this town. I love everybody. I’m at a loss for words.”

The Post reported that the crowd erupted in cheers after Ward’s touchdown, swarming the field as Ward threw his helmet into the air in celebration. Spectators who were at the game described the incredible moment as “surreal” and “amazing.”

The Newtown High School football team

“It was surreal,“ Pete Paguaga told CNN. “It was a movie ending. I’m still searching for words to process what I saw.“

“Seven years ago in Newtown, CT was an unspeakably awful day. 7 years to the day, kids from that town and school did this,” sportscaster Scott Van Pelt tweeted. “Sports are amazing sometimes.”

The win marked Newtown High School’s first state championship since 1992, according to CNN.

Several of the players on the team attended Sandy Hook Elementary School, the location of the 2012 massacre, and one of the players had a brother who was killed in the shooting, the Post reported, which also noted that Newtown supporters came to the game wearing bold green, Sandy Hook’s school color.

Twenty-six people, including 20 children, were killed in the massacre on Dec. 14, 2012.

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Nasser Hussain: England missed opportunity with team selection in New Zealand

Nasser Hussain questioned whether England did anything to improve their future chances of winning away from home during their Test series defeat to New Zealand.

England lost the two-match series 1-0 after having to settle for a draw in the second Test in Hamilton.

The result continues a poor run of away form for England that has seen them win just two of their last 11 series on the road.

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While there were positives, such as the first-innings batting display in the second Test, former England captain Hussain told The Cricket Debate – which you can listen to in the player below or by downloading here – that it was a missed opportunity.

“What is their area of concern? Winning matches away from home. They had opportunities and yet they continually revert to type. They go back to 85mph bowlers, they leave out their spinner, play five seamers and make ridiculous decisions.

“When you select a team there has to be short-term thinking – what is this pitch, I will select a team to win this game – but selection has to also be about looking ahead of you, so that when we do go abroad on flat pitches like this, you can say have we in any way improved our chances? I would say from this tour we have done nothing at all to improve our chances of winning away from home.”

Hussain, in particular, felt England should have picked a spinner in the second Test, rather than dropping Jack Leach and going with an all-pace attack.

“They could have learnt more about Jack Leach; can he bowl in these conditions? They had [spinner] Matt Parkinson there, and could have learnt a lot more. As it is they have lost 1-0 without learning absolutely anything.

“Why pick Parkinson and [Saqib] Mahmood? What was the point? You have to give them a chance and the opportunity has been missed.

“Batsmen get another chance, but Jack Leach comes in, does OK, then somebody has a gut feel that ‘Jack Leach hasn’t spun it in the last game’…I don’t know how you can go into a Test match on a pitch like that without a frontline spinner.”

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Jofra Archer: Alleged racist abuse of England bowler referred to police by New Zealand Cricket

New Zealand Cricket has referred the alleged racist abuse towards England paceman Jofra Archer by a spectator in last week’s first Test to the police.

Hours after England’s defeat in Mount Maunganui, Archer revealed he had heard “racial insults” from “one guy” while returning to the pavilion in an incident that led to a wide-ranging inquiry from an apologetic home board.

The investigation included scrutinising CCTV footage, listening to audio, interviewing bystanders and obtaining material on social media although New Zealand Cricket has been unable to conclusively identify the individual.

However, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White feels what it has gathered is enough to justify lodging a complaint with Tauranga police.

“What happened to Jofra was reprehensible and has led to a general upscaling of security around the area of racial abuse at all our international venues,” White said.

“Should the person responsible ever re-offend, we believe we have enough information to link him to the Bay Oval incident.”

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