PLAINVILLE – When the scholastic season opens up for football every fall, that first game is usually a messy affair.
It happens to both the good and bad squads and when Plainville took on Weaver in a CCC Interdivisional affair from Alumni Field on Friday, Sept. 13, the Blue Devils made some of those gaffes on its side of the field.
Weaver followed suit but when it counted, Plainville made all the big plays and racked up an important 28-12 win to move to 1-0 on the young season.
Fumbles, penalties, and a couple dropped balls didn’t exactly put a smile on the members of the Plainville coaching staff but getting all the bugs out of its system was the goal during Week 1.
And that was mission accomplished by the Blue Devils.
The Beavers came in better than advertised and were certainly pesky throughout the game and coupled with those Blue Devil miscues and penalties, Plainville coach Chris Farrell needed to take a little extra Pepto Bismol throughout the game on the sidelines.
“It was a great win for us,” said Farrell. “Obviously, we knew going in, a lot of guys don’t have varsity experience. So as a coaching staff, we knew we’d have some mistakes. I didn’t think we’d have as many of the penalties and some of the fumbles. Some of our kids who have been leaders know they can’t do that. They know that they can’t be turning the ball over. You can’t have a fourth-and-one and all of a sudden, we have a penalty and it goes back to fourth-and-18.”
“They know, we’ll get back to practice and work on that stuff.”
But Weaver didn’t play a clean game either as quarterback Nick Meadows seemingly threw interceptions at points when the Beavers were gaining a bit of momentum.
Fumbles led to early problems for the Blue Devils but off a critical pick-off by senior RJ Gross, Plainville’s offense got right back on track.
Marching down the field off its misleading ground game, Alec Masionet eventually punched through with a four yard touchdown run as Plainville went ahead 6-0 in the contest with 2:09 left in the first period.
That score carried over into the second frame as the returning Jeff Ziegenhagen slipped in a two-yard touchdown jaunt and he quickly added a two-point conversion.
Going into the half, the home team – despite its rocky start – tallied up a 14-0 edge going into the locker room.
That first half of action by Ziegenhagen – successfully coming back from a devastating knee injury – is simply a taste of what fans should expect from the senior leader on both sides of the ball.
“A lot of people don’t realize who he is because he missed his junior year with an ACL injury,” said Farrell of Ziegenhagen. “But I’m telling you, you’re going to see some special things out of the kid. He’s unreal. He’s all over the field on defense, he’s our leader on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a leader on the offensive side of the ball.”
“You see what he does…he’s only going to get better each week.”
Weaver still couldn’t get on the board in the early stages of the third tilt but Plainville added an important score of its own.
Speedster Jon Lindgren zipped in a four-yard score of his own with 7:19 left to play in the third stanza and off a Ziegenhagen extra-point, the Blue Devils built up an imposing 21-0 tilt.
Weaver finally put six on the board late in the third as Meadows found Dusean McPherson for an 11-yard touchdown connection as Plainville’s edge was chopped to 21-6 with 3:54 remaining in the frame.
It was a 15-point game, in Plainville’s favor, going into the fourth period but Weaver remained just one touchdown away from making it a one-possession affair.
Four minutes into the fourth, the Blue Devils’ Kevin Bielawski snatched a Meadows offering but off a Plainville turnover, Weaver got it right back.
However, the Beavers went nowhere and the home team set up an insurance score.
It appeared Masionet scored another touchdown with 4:30 to play as his huge run saw the senior break the plain of the goal.
But the ball was fumbled and then it rolled out of the end zone.
However, the Blue Devils were awarded the ball near the Weaver goal and the final touchdown for Plainville was being set up.
Quickly, Ziegenhagen ran it in five yards straight up the middle and off an extra point, Plainville’s cushion moved up to a 28-6 with 4:27 remaining.
“We were a little bit upset that we weren’t doing what we should be doing but that last touchdown was a good thing,” said Farrell. “It kind of put it away a little bit with four minutes to go in the game which is a good thing. I thought we did a pretty good job going down there, getting off a couple nice runs by Masionet and Lindgren.”
Meadows found McPherson again for a 25 yard TD connection as Weaver cut it to 28-12 with 2:45 left.
Off a Weaver on-side kick, Plainville recovered the ball and hung on to a big 16-point win.
“I thought the kids did a good job answering (the challenge) at some points but we shot ourselves in the foot,” said Farrell. “Next week against Platt, it could be a totally different game if we do that.”