WALLINGFORD >> Branford coach John Limone talked about his hoarse voice at halftime from all his yelling on the sidelines.
Friday night, it was a raspy, but happy voice.
Branford scored the first 19 points of the game and controlled the contest from the opening whistle to record its first victory of the season, a 25-12 Southern Connecticut Conference win over Sheehan at Riccitelli Field.
“Without question, it’s been a rough go,” said Limone, whose Hornets improved to 1-4. “We’ve played a lot of really good teams and we weren’t able to put it all together until tonight.”
The Hornets had been outscored 166-13 heading into Friday night by teams that were a combined 19-1 entering this week.
But it was the Branford running game that took center stage in this one.
Zach DeGoursey carried the ball 37 times for 161 yards and tired out the Sheehan defense with power running all night.
“Our line pushed the ball,” DeGoursey said. “They stayed low and with their man. They did a phenomenal job to get us the win. This was a long time coming.”
DeGoursey put the Hornets on top 7-0 as Branford scored on its opening drive for the first time this season. He closed out a 12-play, 77-yard drive with a 2-yard scamper halfway through the opening quarter.
After Sheehan (1-4) couldn’t move the football, DeGoursey ripped off a 13-yard run to close out a 78-yard drive that gave Branford a 13-0 lead with 10:50 remaining in the first half.
A Griffin Lynch 12-yard pass to Luke DiStasio four minutes later made it 19-0.
Sheehan was stopped inside the Branford 20-yard line as Titans quarterback Nolan Cloutier was picked off by James Dering just before halftime.
Backup quarterback Tyler Selmecki finally got Sheehan on the board with a 45-yard jaunt down the left sideline to give the Titans some hope with 7:20 to play in the third.
Lynch and DiStasio hooked up for another touchdown later in the quarter, a 17-yarder that made it 25-6. Another Cloutier pass was picked off by Zach Ellison in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
“We have to take advantage of those opportunities, especially in the red zone,” Sheehan coach John Ferrazzi said.
Selmecki threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Zach Davis to close out the scoring late in the fourth quarter.
“We weren’t able to find any offensive rhythm tonight,” Ferrazzi said. “I think they showed us a different look and took certain things away. We couldn’t find ways to stay on the field.”
Branford held Cloutier to just 7-of-12 passing for 24 yards. A week ago, Cloutier set school records with 377 yards passing and five touchdowns in a 48-33 victory over Guilford.
“We stayed with our plan against him,” said Limone. “We were able to pressure him from different spots.”
Lynch was 7-for-13 for 122 yards for Branford.
Branford 25, Sheehan 12
Branford 7 12 6 0 0 — 25
Sheehan 0 0 6 6 0 — 12
B—Zach DeGoursey 2 run (Eleftherios Gionteris kick)
B—Zach DeGoursey 13 run (kick blocked)
B—Luke DiStasio 12 pass from Griffin Lynch (pass failed)
S—Tyler Selmecki 45 run (kick failed)
B—Luke DiStasio 17 pass from Griffin Lynch (kick failed)
S—Zach Davis 22 pass from Tyler Selmecki (kick failed)
Team records: Sheehan 1-4; Branford 1-4