EASTPOINT — Challenged after its first losing streak of the season, the Branford football team responded in every phase.
Pitching a shutout defensively, the Buccaneers also got a turnover on special teams and big plays both rushing and throwing in routing host Franklin County 42-0 on Friday night.
“We challenged the guys to get our hunger back and play like we did a couple weeks ago against Mayo,” Branford coach Tim Clark said. “I think we had an emotional letdown after that game and so we challenged them to reset our standard and get back to that level.
After losing to Franklin County (2-5) each of the past two seasons, the 4-4 Buccaneers made sure that didn’t happen again. Branford led 13-0 after the first quarter and 29-0 at halftime.
“We jumped on them early,” Clark added.
Senior running back Dakota Hamm had a 70-yard touchdown run and finished with 126 yards on 10 carries. Markell Pugh added a 50-yard touchdown run after a previous score was negated by a penalty.
Seth Heiderman, Branford’s junior quarterback, also had a rushing touchdown while completing 6 of 11 passes for 92 yards and three touchdowns with one interception, the Bucs’ lone turnover. He found Clay Williams three times for 31 yards and a touchdown, while Colton Leibold had two touchdowns and 61 yards on six catches. Libeled also had a big return and rushed twice.
“It was a big play every time he touched it,” Clark said.
Branford, in addition to recovering a fumble on a kickoff, also had a pair of interceptions defensively.