H.S. football roundup: Valley Regional/Old Lyme tops North Branford 23-0

North Branford — Valley Regional/Old Lyme set up a battle next week for the Pequot Football Conference's Sassacus Division title with a 23-0 win over North Branford on Friday night.

The Warriors (5-1, 4-1) play at unbeaten Cromwell/Portland next Friday at 6 p.m.

"That's exactly what we told the kids,'' said Valley coach Tim King. "We have to go through North Branford to get to Cromwell. Now we're in the position where we get to play Cromwell. That game should be interesting.''

Valley led 3-0 after one quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Brian Funk. Quarterback Mike Cullina scored on a 6-yard run to make the score 9-0 at halftime.

Cullina threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ernest Jean-Pierre in the third quarter and Funk's kick made it 16-0.

The Warriors closed out the scoring with a 1-yard TD run by Jacob Kruszewski and Funk's kick.

Nick Braga rushed for 106 yards on 12 carries and Jean-Pierre had four catches for 87 yards and also intercepted a pass.   

In other games: 

• Trailing by two with 39 seconds left in the game, Thames River drove 85 yards to score the winning touchdown with 2 seconds remaining in a 28-22 win over Vinal Tech/East Hampton/Goodwin Tech in the Connecticut Technical Conference. 

Albert Velasquez hauled in the dramatic score to help the Crusaders improve to 3-3. Zack Johnson threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran five times for 43 yards.

Xavier Wright (101 yards) and Jo Jo Beltran (113) each had four catches and a touchdown. Trey Stimson rushed for 109 yards on 16 carries and a score. 

"Our kids never gave up," coach Darin Jones said in an email. "We teach them in practice that the game is not over till the clock runs zero across it. We gave them a challenge to find themselves with a gut check and they did. Very tough win, but a great win all together for these boys."


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