PLAINVILLE - The saying goes things have to get worse before they get better.
Just when it appeared to have turned a corner, the Plainville football team once again learned how true that saying can be after Friday night’s game against Berlin.
When the final whistle blew in another edition of the annual rivalry game, it was more of the same result and the Blue Devils fell 42-14.
Too many mistakes early derailed any chance of making the game a competitive one. And so the process of changing the narrative from a rebuilding one to a consistent one continues.
“We’re still young in a lot of areas, but in Week 5, going into Week 6 now, that’s not an excuse anymore,” head coach Tim Shea said.
“We have to step up and take onus for our mistakes as well as our successes and continue to push forward. We push forward a little more each week and I know it doesn’t look like it to a lot of outside people, but if you saw us in August as opposed to now, there’s progress. Obviously, we want more.”
Plainville (1-4) has shown flashes of its potential throughout the season. The Blue Devils led Bloomfield in the season opener before losing on a late fourth-quarter touchdown, 18-13. They snapped their 14-game losing streak the next week. There were even some positive moments against the Redcoats.
Brady Callahan made some nice runs to finish the night with 85 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Cody Marquis brought down a jump ball in the end zone in the first quarter. Christian Collins intercepted a pass in the end zone to prevent a Berlin (5-0) score at the end of the first half.
It just comes back to doing it consistently, every quarter of every game, which Plainville has yet to figure out how to do.
Before halftime Friday, the game was all but over. The Redcoats were up 21 points before the Blue Devils scored their first touchdown and took a 28-7 lead into the locker room. The Blue Devils never gave themselves an opportunity to stage a comeback. They couldn’t stop the run.
“They ran downhill. They have a few big backs and they came at us,” Shea said. “You can’t play on your heels. You have to constantly be moving forward. They fell forward and got some extra yards when we needed to stop them. Hats off to them, that’s Berlin football. They came at you and we needed more on our part.”
The Redcoats rushed for 175 yards and four touchdowns on 40 carries.
But Plainville also had difficulties generating any offense itself. The Blue Devils opened up the game with a 42-yard completion from Frank Griffin to Jailen Lindey and into Berlin territory and couldn’t take advantage. Overall, Plainville punted six times, lost a fumble, threw an interception and turned the ball over on downs twice.
The passing game is key to the Blue Devils’ success, especially offensively, but it’s two other areas that if they get better will lead to better results, according to Shea.
“We’ve had some success throwing the ball, but we have to get better at running the ball and tackling,” Shea said. “When we start doing those two things, we’ll start being more successful.”
With five games over and done with, the bye week might have come at the best time for Plainville, allowing the team to get a chance to hit the reset button and in a way, start the season fresh.
We’re going to be going back to the fundamentals,” Shea said. “We’re going back to camp a little bit, working on offensive fundamentals for a few days, defensive fundamentals for a few days. A lot of basic drill type stuff that we did back in August to fine tune some things.”
The Blue Devils will have to do so in a hurry.
“Never a dull moment,” Shea said. “We’re trying.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach