PLAINVILLE – The wait is over.
The Plainville football team will battle Bloomfield on Friday in its first meeting since the 2019 Class S semifinals. The Blue Devils lost that game, 35-7, but will have a chance to avenge its defeat this time around on their home turf.
“The comment I'll say to Ty [Outlaw] tomorrow is, 'I'm glad I only have to see you once,'” Plainville coach Tim Shea said. “He's got a very good program up there and if we play well against them I think we'll be in for some good things as the season wears on. We're at home and we'll see what happens.”
The Warhawks’ offense was too much for the Blue Devils two years ago, however, a new roster and varying levels of experience among both teams could spell for a much more even contest this year.
“We have three kids that lettered as sophomores,” Shea said. “Alex Santini started on defense and Justin Emery and Cam Lamothe lettered on special teams. We don't have that many guys with varsity experience which is why I think being successful last week was so key and it helped us out a lot.”
The Blue Devils took down South Windsor, 27-25, last week to start the season with positive vibes. With an important game so soon after, Shea feels they’ll be more focused than they otherwise would have been.
“They're starting to get their feet under them, their minds are about them,” Shea said. “It was a much easier sell practicing this week than in week's past because obviously we had some success beating somebody.”
While a couple guys played well in the season-opening victory, Shea wants to improve in all areas of the game against the defending state runner-ups.
“Kye McGraw had a big game last week, rushed for 100 yards,” Shea said. Our quarterback M.J. Bakaysa, hope for him to have a better week this week and up front and on the entire defense. We have to make stops. We had five turnovers last week, four picks and a fumble and hopefully we can be that opportunistic this week.”
Shea didn’t get into specifics, but Plainville will try to execute a strategy the revolves around Bloomfield, while still keeping the positives from its win in mind.
“We'll game plan for what they did and what they do differently than South Windsor,” Shea said. “We watched the film Saturday morning and saw what we had to correct. That's the big thing we've been working on this week. We're a little dinged up in some areas so we got some guys in new spots.”
The Warhawks also earned a win in its first game, beating Bristol Central, 7-6. Dallas Rose capped off a 14-play, 64-yard score before Matthew Miller kicked in the deciding extra point at the start of the second half. Bloomfield finished with 354 yards of total offense while limiting the Rams to just 39 plays after 60 minutes.
Playing quality opponents this early in the season can be intimidating for some, but the Blue Devils welcome the opportunity.
“It's a gauge to see where you're at,” Shea said. “If you're not successful it's also not a final mark on your season. It's always good to play those upper teams to see where you're at. If you strive to be at that level, which we want to be, than we need to be successful against them.
“It's always a challenge playing them and I hope we're up for it,” Shea said.
The Warhawks are currently the second-ranked team in Class S with 140 points, while Plainville is No. 3 in Class M with 130 points.
Kickoff for Friday’s rematch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.