By KEN MORSE
The Plainville High School Blue Devils took to the road last Friday and came home victorious pulling out a 20-16 white knuckle affair over the Tolland Eagles. Sophomore kicker Mason Sarra saved the day booting a pair of long range field goals for the winning margin.
It marked the third win in a row for PHS as they improved to 4-4 while the Eagles dropped two in a row falling to 4-4 on the season.
“The guys are starting to put it all together,” said Plainville head coach Tim Shea. “The offense started out fast and then the defense stepped up but it was the foot of Sarra that saved the day.”
“He hit one field goal 40 yards into the wind and then half way through the fourth quarter he got one through a stiff cross breeze from 37 yards out. That proved to be the winning margin.”
Plainville got on the board first with senior EJ Wynkoop rambling 30 yards for a touchdown and the extra point by Sarra put the Blue Devils on top 7-0.
Jon Lindquist went for a long run into the end zone for the Eagles but Tolland missed the extra point to make it a 7-6 game.
Frank Griffin finished off a drive for the Blue Devils taking it in from two yards out and the extra point made it a 14-6 Plainville lead heading into the second quarter.
“We knew that the second half of the season would be our opportunity to turn this around,” said Griffin. “We already faced the top teams in the conference we just had to put ourselves out there.”
“The biggest change has been in our defense. We are giving up yards, but when it’s time to make a big play guys are stepping up and getting it done.”
Once again, it was Jason Mills who deflected three passes and came away with a couple of sacks that stalled Eagle drives. Sam Lestini added a few more pass deflections and put the pressure on with a couple of more sacks.
Ben Root stripped the ball carrier and Christian Collins came up with the fumble recovery. The Plainville offense lost the handle turning the ball over a couple of times to end drives but when it mattered the most Sarra delivered.
Right before the end of the first half, Sarra lined it up and nailed a 40 yarder into the wind to open up a 17-6 halftime advantage.
“Hats off to our defense every time we turned it over the defense was there to save the day,” said coach Shea.
Tolland took advantage of another miscue scoring two points on a safety midway through the third quarter to close the gap at 17-8. Sarra booted a 37 yard field goal to up the margin to 20-8 and that proved to be enough of a spread.
A long touchdown pass from Brady Gordon to Cole Suchecki and the two point conversion made it even closer at 20-16.
Tolland was stopped at the one yard line on fourth down in the last quarter and had the ball driving down the field in the final minute of play only to have Brady Callahan break up a fourth down pass to preserve the win.
Plainville will be at Avon at 1 p.m. this Saturday before having a week off to prepare for the Thanksgiving Day battle with Farmington.