PLAINVILLE - The Plainville football team has been relying on its defense all year to make stops. Its mantra - ‘we bend but don't break’.
But Thursday afternoon, it broke in its 21-7 loss to Farmington during the seventh annual Olde Canal Cup, costing the Blue Devils a chance to finish with their first winning record since 2014. Plainville finished its season 5-5, but it was still a five-win improvement from last season when the team failed to win a single game.
Yet, it was not just the Blue Devils’ defense that struggled, but the offense as well. Plainville was only able to reach the end zone once in the duration of the game.
“We just couldn’t get the ball rolling on offense,” quarterback Frank Griffin said.
Plainville’s lone score of the game was from Ej Wynkoop on a 53-yard run with Gio Andino kicking through the extra point.
The Blue Devils were only able to rush 79 total yards collectively. Wynkoop lead Plainville with 84 rushing yards on nine carries and one touchdown.
Griffin, meanwhile, completed 19 of his 27 attempts for 91 yards with two interceptions compared to Farmington quarterback Zac Conrad who completed 12 of his 24 attempts for 115 with one touchdown and one interception.
But when the Blue Devils were given opportunities to make plays, they couldn’t take advantage, especially when the Indians were consistently penalized. Farmington racked up a total of nine penalties throughout the game for 75 yards.
Plainville got pushed around up front and wasn’t able to make any plays. Farmington's defense took advantage of that, only allowing one touchdown.
“The teams with the least turnovers and the least penalties usually come out on top,” Blue Devils head coach Tim Shea said.
Defensively, Plainville just couldn’t stop the run.
Farmington rushed a total 204 offensive yards and two touchdowns. Jack Beisel led the Indians with 100 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Dante Colagiovanni added another 46 yards on five carries, while Conrad rushed 58 yards on seven carries with a touchdown of his own as well.
Despite the season not ending like they wanted it to, the loss to Farmington already has the Blue Devils motivated for what’s to come for next season. In just a few weeks, Plainville will be hitting the weight room for some offseason work.
“We just have to keep working, the off season starts now,” Blue Devils running back and receiver Brady Callahan said.
But the loss also doesn't diminish the success Plainville had throughout this season, including a four-game win streak starting in Week 6. The Blue Devils began their season turnaround against RHAM, beating the Sachems 38-33. Since then, they went on to win against East Catholic (49-6), Tolland (20-16) and Avon (28-21).
And after going 0-10 last season and being outscored in nearly every game, Plainville knows it has come a long way since then. As Shea said, the team just has to continue its process of building the program.
This year, the Blue Devils may not have achieved the winning season they wanted, but they did not have a losing one, which they haven’t been able to say in a while.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @shelbyiava