A standing-room-only crowd gathered Friday night in Newtown, Conn., where the Newtown High School football team hosted its first game since 20 children and six adults were killed in last December’s shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The Nighthawks, who normally wear blue and gold, sported green-and-white Sandy Hook jerseys, with “Stay Strong” printed on the nameplates. Newtown’s helmets featured No. 26 decals.
– We Are Newtown (@We_Are_Newtown) September 21, 2013
– Sean Patrick Bowley (@SPBowley) September 19, 2013
Halftime featured a parade of Newtown youth football players and cheerleaders wearing matching jerseys.
“It was just kind of overwhelming,” Newtown lineman Dom Scarangella told theNews-Times. “I’ve never seen so many people at a game. We played for them tonight. It was good to distract them from everything that happened.”
As for the game, Newtown built a 22-0 halftime lead and held on for a 22-14 win.
“I think they misinterpreted me,” Newtown coach Steve George said. “I wanted to give (the fans) something to cheer about. But I would have liked it to be a blowout. Unfortunately, they had something else in mind. They wanted to keep it close and give them something to cheer about until the end.”