AVON - With 2:13 remaining on the clock, Frank Griffin secured the Plainville football teamâ€™s fourth consecutive win Saturday afternoon when he rushed three yards into the end zone, breaking the tie, to give the Blue Devils a 28-21 victory over Avon.
After four wins in four weeks, Plainville has secured at least a .500 record this season with the Thanksgiving Day game against Farmington still to go, this after the Blue Devils went 0-10 2016 season.
â€śThis game got us to 5-4,â€ť Plainville head coach Tim Shea said. â€śItâ€™s assured us not a winning season, but not a losing season. Our goal is obviously to be above .500 but we have five more wins than we did last year and weâ€™re looking to build on that.â€ť
Two minutes into first quarter, Griffin connected with Brady Callahan for a 55-yard touchdown pass to set the tempo of the game.
â€śIt was a good way to start the game,â€ť Callahan said.
But the Falcons responded back with an 8-yard touchdown by quarterback Ryan Burgos. It was the first of three rushing touchdowns for the Avon signal caller. Burgos rushed for a 9-yard touchdown with 26 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Falcons the 14-7 lead and ran 15 yards for a score in the third quarter to tie the game at 21-21.
But Avon muffed a punt at the start of the second quarter to swing the momentum back in the Blue Devilsâ€™ favor. Plainville outscored the Falcons 14-0 over the final 12 minutes before halftime.
Griffin was able to tie the game up with an 11-yard touchdown run at the 11:07 mark. Griffin then found Jailen Lindsey a 3-yard touchdown catch less than 8Â˝ minutes later and the Blue Devils took a 21-14 advantage into the half.
In the locker room, Shea kept his message simple - finish.
â€śAnd thatâ€™s what they did. They kept their composure and we finished,â€ť Shea said.
Avon was only able to score once more on Burgosâ€™ 15-yarder with 1:19 left in the third quarter to tie the score at 21-21 and set Plainville up with the chance to engineer its game-winning drive.
â€śWe knew it was going to be a tough game going into it, both teams were hungry to get wins,â€ť Callahan said. â€śWe knew we had to come out hard and do our job. Everyone trusted each other and trusted the process, we just had to get it done today and we did.â€ť
Griffin later sealed the deal with a 3-yard run nearly two minutes left in the game.
â€śTodayâ€™s game was a back and forth,â€ť Griffin said. â€śWe had the lead in the first half and we came out and we stopped them. Our defense is what really saved the day, and then our offense punched it in, in the fourth quarter.â€ť
Plainvilleâ€™s defense forced four turnovers including an interception from freshman Christian Collin.
â€śHe really saved the day on that interception,â€ť Griffin added.
And while the offense was able to come through with enough points to get the win, the Blue Devils have been seeing a trend where theyâ€™ve needed to rely on their defense.
â€śWe needed our offense to play a complete game,â€ť Shea said. â€śAt times we did, at times we didnâ€™t. We need our defense to make stops when they did, and they did. We held on. We bent, but we didnâ€™t break and that's kind of been our defensive mantra all year, bend but don't break. Every week weâ€™ve been saying, defense has to save the day, and we did again today.â€ť