By KEN MORSE
The Blue Devils used a quick striking offensive attack to dominate East Catholic last Friday in a 49-6 rout of the Eagles. It marked the most points scored by Plainville in six seasons since they put up 52 points in a win over Weaver in 2011.
It also was the first time in four years that the Blue Devils won back-to back games since Plainville won the last five games in 2014 to go 6-5 on the season. Junior quarterback Frank Griffin has led the resurgence of the Blue Devils throwing for three touchdowns and running in two more touchdowns against East Catholic for Plainville as they improved to 3-4 on the season.
“There is a lot of talent on this team,” said Griffin (13 of 19 passing for 256 yards and four rushes for 40 yards). “The line has been incredible and we have several players who can run and catch the ball so teams can’t focus on shutting down just one or two guys.”
Griffin threw a high arcing pass down at the goal line and senior receiver Ben Root outleaped the defense to haul in the 30 yard aerial midway through the third quarter.
On the next play senior running back E.J. Wynkoop (seven rushes for 34 yards and two touchdowns) barreled in from six yards out to put an end to any notion of an East Catholic comeback with the Blue Devils out in front 42-6.
“There are just no words to describe how this team is feeling the way we are playing now,” said Root. “After last year to come in here my senior year and building up this momentum with the season winding down is just an incredible feeling. You always want to go out on top and we are definitely headed in that direction.”
Root was one of six Blue Devil receivers that latched on to passes over 20 yards against East Catholic and that shows a lot of growth for a team that scored only eight touchdowns all of last season.
But what paved the way to victory over the Eagles started on the other side of the ball where the Plainville defense was in lock down mode with four takeaways, four sacks and stopping the Eagles twice on fourth down.
Junior Jason Mills has been the inspirational leader as he had seven solo tackles, 10 assists, two fumble recoveries and one and a half sacks. Juniors Sam Lestini with two sacks and Brady Callahan fumble recovery along with freshman Christian Collin interception all pitched in to shutting down the Eagles.
“We come to play everyday,” said Mills. “We all work hard and have a good work ethic. We go out and do all we can for the guy to the left and the right of you just to get Frank the ball back. We know he can put points on the board and we all trust him 100 percent.”
Griffin and company put points on the board in a hurry. In four of the seven scoring drives it only took Plainville just three plays to get into the end zone. Callahan latched onto a 14 yard pass from Griffin on just the third play from scrimmage after Mills got the ball back on a fumble recovery two minutes into the game.
East Catholic closed the gap at 7-6 on a David Lundy two yard plunge that completed a nine play drive by the Eagles with 4:21 left in the first quarter. It was all Blue Devils from that point on.
It was a 35 yard pass to Callahan (two catches, 49 yards) that got Plainville in scoring position once again. On the third play of the drive Wynkoop finished it off on an eight yard blast and Mason Sarra (7 for 7) booted the extra point for a 14-6 advantage.
“It feels good to gain a little bit of momentum with our second win in a row,” said Plainville head coach Tim Shea. “We are playing as close to a full 48 minutes as we need to and I keep telling the kids act like you’ve been there before.”
A 25 yard pass to senior Cody Marquis (two catches, 42 yards) had the Blue Devils pounding on the door again and Griffin scored on a two yard keeper to up the margin 21-6.
Senior Jailen Lindsey (five catches, 84 yards) hauled in a 44 yard scoring strike from Griffin before the first half came to an end with Plainville well out in front 28-6 at the break.
The lead swelled to 35-6 when Griffin took it in himself from a yard out and Wynkoop added a six yard run to make it a 42-6 lead heading into the final quarter. Marcos Gutierrez pulled in a 23 yard pass at the start of the fourth quarter and Collin scored his first touchdown on an eight yard toss to complete the scoring at 49-6.
“We took a big step tonight as a team,” added Shea. “Now we have to work just as hard if not harder to go out there and take the next step and that takes place next week against a very tough Tolland team.”
The Blue Devils hit the road on Friday traveling to 4-3 Tolland and will be away the following week on Nov. 11, Saturday, at Avon for a 1 p.m. showdown before hosting the Thanksgiving Day game with Farmington.