Football: Foran clobbers Branford in opener

The Foran High football team opened its season with a resounding 38-0 shutout over Branford High at Vito DeVito Sports Complex on Friday night in an SCC Division II matchup.

Behind junior quarterback Lance DiNatale and a stout defensive effort, the Lions roared out to a 32-0 halftime advantage in a dominating effort over the Hornets.

DiNatale, making his first varsity start, threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Colin Firmender on a gadget play on Foran’s first offensive snap from scrimmage.

“We take it out of the archives every once in awhile,” Foran head coach Jeff Bevino said.

It was harbinger of things to come for Branford, as DiNatale, a junior, completed 11-of-13 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. He also scrambled 60 yards to paydirt, while connecting with Firmender on another 64-yard strike.

The Lions closed out the first half like they opened it, with DiNatale hitting R.J. Balado in the left flat for an 8-yard touchdown as time expired.

Balado, a senior tailback, also punched in a 3-yard score and added 11 carries for 123 yards in the first half.

Andre Vella, a defensive lineman by trade, closed out Foran’s scoring account by rumbling 85 yards for a touchdown in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

Vella, Mike Howell, and the rest of the Lions’ defense swarmed Hornet quarterback Griffin Lynch all night, with Steven Lynch and Brett Huber intercepting passes.

“Very, very pleased with our defense,” Bevino said. “We came off the ball… We got off blocks, we got 11 hats to the football. I thought we did a good job with that.”

The Lions now have an open week before they take on Sheehan High of Wallingford (0-1) in an SCC Division II East matchup at Riccitelli Field on Sept. 25.