Newtown Football Team Wins Emotional Championship 7 Yrs After Sandy Hook Shooting.

The holidays will always be a painful time for the people of Newtown, Connecticut.

December 14 marked the seventh anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and grief permeated the town as mourners held hands during candlelight vigils and church services. But amidst the darkness, they found a beautiful moment of joy and triumph to celebrate.

sandy hook shooting victims

That day, the Newtown High School football team took on Darien High in the Class LL state championship. The stands were packed with Nighthawks fans, many of whom wore green in honor of the Sandy Hook victims.

Moreover, some of the athletes had attended Sandy Hook as children, while their linebacker, Ben Pinto, lost his brother Jack in the shooting. That’s why winning would mean so much for them. Not only would they take the title of state champions, but they would also bring some happiness to a day marked by tragedy.

nighthawks fans

When the last play of the game arrived, the teams were tied — until the Nighthawks found the perfect opening with only seconds left.

Quarterback Jack Street took a chance, throwing a pass to wide receiver Riley Ward, who came through with the catch.


Moments later, Riley reached the end zone and tossed his helmet into the air as he sprinted back to his team. The Nighthawks had defeated Darien with a final score of 13-7!


Players and fans alike rushed onto the field to celebrate Newtown’s first state championship win in 27 years — and to commemorate their unity, love, and strength in the face of their town’s suffering.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Riley said. “Love this town, I love everybody. I’m at a loss for words.”

nighthawks celebrate

This unexpected moment of triumph brought a ray of hope to Newtown on an anniversary of sorrow and pain. Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by this tragedy.

Watch the Nighthawks make their game-winning touchdown in the video, and don’t forget to share this emotional story with your friends.

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