PLAINVILLE - The Plainville football team extended its winning streak to three games and likely put itself one win away from a postseason berth.
Sporting a top-eight ranking in Class S entering their game against Lewis Mills after a Thursday night loss by Seymour, the Blue Devils bested the Spartans 20-6 at home.
“It was a really hard fought game,” junior Beau Lasher said. “We had some downs and some lows, but in the end we came out on top.”
The Plainville defense made a statement in the first half. Lewis Mills began all four of its drives in Blue Devils territory and failed to come away with any points.
Lewis Mills started its first drive with incredible field position at the Plainville 10-yard line thanks to a 60-yard kickoff return by junior Josh Martinotti. However, the Blue Devils’ defense was able to keep the Spartans out of the end zone on all four downs to keep the scoreboard empty.
With 94 yards of field in front of him, Plainville quarterback Christian Collin led an 11-play drive highlighted by a 22-yard pass to Javan Paradis and a 24-yard run by Beau Lasher to give the Blue Devils the first lead of the game. Collin capped the drive with a five-yard pass to Paradis for the score with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter.
“We’ve had a few of those this year to open the game,” Blue Devils head coach Timothy Shea said. “Our first offensive possession you get to go down the field and at the same time you get to chew the clock. It showed us a lot what we could do, but then you see the frustration when you do it initially but can’t continue to do it. That’s the game of football, they work hard at what they do over there, we work hard at what we do and it’s just one of those things.”
The Spartans failed to capitalize on a second big return from Martinotti, who put his team on the Plainville 47-yard line to start their second drive, which ultimately ended in a three and out.
A three and out on the Blue Devils’ ensuing drive forced them to punt, but this time it wasn’t the return that granted Lewis Mills strong field position. The snap went over the head of punter Beau Lasher, which forced him to run and he was forced out of bounds at his own 18-yard line. Once again the Plainville defense prevailed, stopping all four Spartan plays for no yards.
The Spartans earned their first two first downs of the game during their only drive of the second quarter and were putting a strong drive together until a deep pass to the end zone by quarterback Colby Nordstrom was intercepted by Collin at the 1-yard line.
“I saw him start to roll and we had been practicing that play all week, so immediately I dropped and found the receiver and made the catch,” Collin said.
Collin was almost able to complete the subsequent 99-yard drive with 48 rushing yards and 34-yard pass to Paradis, but the Blue Devils were ultimately stifled inside the 10-yard line and missed a field goal.
The Blue Devils opened the second half with a run-only drive that covered 63 yards. Plainville thought it would have to punt the ball away halfway through, but a roughing the punter penalty gave the Blue Devils a first down on the Lewis Mills 34-yard line.
The Spartans continued their streak of short fields in the second half and finally took advantage. Starting at the Plainville 49-yard line, Lewis Mills called seven straight run plays and Nordstrom punched it in from three yards out for their first points.
The Blue Devils’ rushing attack answered right back with a four-play drive highlighted by an 18-yard run by Paradis and a 39-yard touchdown from Collin to put them up 20-6 with 2:55 to go in the third quarter. Collin finished with 73 passing yards and 139 rushing yards to go along with his three touchdowns and 8.2-yard-per-carry average.
“You get the good with the bad sometimes,” Shea said. “[Collin] rolls with it so much so well. He plays on the edge a little bit sometimes, a little above himself at times when we want him to take it all in and relax. It is what it is, that’s what we’re getting with him, it’s what we want to get out of him and he’s learning, I’m glad we have another year with him.”
The Blue Devils will complete their regular season on Thanksgiving Day at home with a 10 a.m. matchup with Farmington. Farmington defeated Plainville 18-17 in last year’s season-ending matchup.
“It’s going to take execution for all players on the field,” Collin said. “We need all 11 guys to do their jobs at all times. They thought of the past two years [and] how it could have been our game just adds fuel to the fire.”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Plainville 20, Lewis Mills 6
At Plainville High School
Plainville (7-2) 6 0 14 0 - 20
Lewis Mills (5-4) 0 0 6 0 - 6
P-Chistrian Collin 5 pass to Javan Paradis (kick blocked), 5:11
P-Collin 3 run (Collin run), 6:48
LM-Colby Nordstrom 3 run (run failed), 4:05
P-Collin 39 run (kick blocked), 2:55
Passing - Plainville: Collin 10-22-73-1TD Lewis Mills: Nordstrom 5-14-37-2INT
Rushing - Plainville: Collin 17-139-2TD, Lasher 12-69, Dylan Brewer 1-4, Tanner Callahan 4-55-1FUM, Paradis 2-24 Lewis Mills: Nordstrom 10-29-1TD-1FUM, Cade Cormier 3-16, Martinotti 11-39, Seamus Hannon 2-3, Andrew Roben 2-3