Newtown High School wins football state championship on anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting

Newtown High School wins football state championship on anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting
Newtown Nighthawks celebrate their win after beating the Darien Blue Wave in the final play of the Class LL state football championship at Trumbull High School Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Trumbull, Conn. Newtown won 13-7. Newtown marked the seventh anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School with vigils, church services and a moment of joy when the community's high school football team, with a shooting victim's brother as linebacker, won the state championship Saturday in a last-minute thrill. (Kassi Jackson/Hartford Courant via AP) (Kassi Jackson/AP)

NEWTOWN, Conn. — On the seventh anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School the Newtown High School football team overshadowed the event by winning the state championship for the first time in over 26 years.

With a last-minute touchdown pass, the Newtown Nighthawks beat Darien in the Class LL state championship 13-7. The title was the first for Newtown since 1992.

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Ben Pinto, whose brother Jack was among those killed in the shooting seven years ago, played linebacker for Newtown.

“The whole town showed out on this special night,” senior Jared Dunn told The Hartford Courant. “We knew we had to bring it home for our town.”

Twenty first-graders and six educators were killed at the elementary school Dec. 14, 2012.

According to Connecticut Against Gun Violence, which helped to organize vigils held in the state Saturday, more than 700,000 Americans have been killed or injured in acts of gun violence since the Sandy Hook shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.