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A look at high school football throughout the state

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Preview: North Branford

FOOTBALL: North Branford favored to win Pequot Conference

The North Branford football team experienced a season full of defining moments a year ago.

There was a stinging, shootout loss against Valley Regional/Old Lyme on opening night that fueled the Thunderbirds’ motivation for the entire year. And there was a thrilling contest against unbeaten Cromwell where the Thunderbirds overcame tons of adversity and won it with some big defensive stops late in the game.

The Thunderbirds, however, earned their true football stripes with their version of The Drive.

Trailing Coginchaug 16-12 and backed up at their own 10-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, North Branford’s hopes of making the Class S playoffs were in jeopardy.

“I just wanted to complete some passes,” quarterback Brandan Basil recalled. “I wasn’t really thinking about how much time was against us. I just wanted to do my best to get the ball rolling and get down there and score.”

Basil marched the Thunderbirds down the field with Elway-like cool and precision. On a fourth down play inside the Blue Devils’ 10-yard line, Basil found Joe DeLucia, who shook off a Blue Devils’ defender and scored the game-winning touchdown with just 2 minutes remaining.

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