December 14, 2019, marked the seventh anniversary of the devastating tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. On that day, 26 people, including 20 children and six adults, were brutally killed at the school.
This year’s anniversary was especially poignant, as the town’s high school football team had a championship game to win. In a truly epic moment, the Newtown Nighthawks scored the winning touchdown with just a few seconds left on the clock.
The touchdown was scored by high school senior Riley Ward, and the team ended up winning the game 13 to 7. Riley was thrilled with his team’s victory. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” he told the Hartford Courant.
“I love this town. I love everybody. I’m at a loss for words.”
Scott Van Pelt, a sportscaster, celebrated the win on Twitter. He tweeted, “Seven years ago in Newtown, CT was an unspeakably awful day. 7 years to the day, kids from that town and school did this. Sports are amazing sometimes.”
This is Newtown’s first state championship title in years, going back to their last state win in 1992.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook was never far from the minds of the team and the players. Several of the players were former Sandy Hook students during the time of the shooting, and one of the players had a brother who was killed on December 14, 2012. Supporters of the team came to the game wearing green, the school color of Sandy Hook Elementary.