The Plainville High football team is hoping that this week will be a case of out of the fire and back into the frying pan.
There’s no doubt that today’s game against undefeated RHAM in Hebron will be a test for the Blue Devils, but they expect to fare much better than they did last week at Berlin, when the Redcoats burned them by a 49-0 score.
“Berlin took it to us, plain and simple,” Plainville head coach Tim Shea said. “They came out and they played hard-nosed football. They played fast, they were aggressive, and we weren’t. We couldn’t match their intensity, their energy, out of the gate and in games like that if you can’t, things don’t happen for you.”
But, he added, “It’s a learning experience, and the good news is we’ve got a chance to redeem ourselves this week.”
There’s very good reason to believe Plainville can do just that. While the Blue Devils (2-2) have won two less games than the Sachems, their two losses have both been against undefeated powerhouses in Bloomfield and Berlin. By comparison, RHAM’s opponents to date have gone a combined 3-12 so far this season.
Still, as Shea said, “They’re 4-0 for a reason.”
RHAM has outscored its opponents by a combined 126-7 margin this season, including three straight victories by identical 35-0 scores over the past three weeks.
While the Sachems are a run-oriented team - collecting 1,103 rushing yards for the season (276 per game) compared to 472 receiving yards - they are led by a big veteran quarterback in 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior Callum Redman.
He’s the third leading rusher on the team with 24 carries for 186 yards and two touchdowns, while also going 21-for-42 passing for 346 yards, with five aerial TDs.
RHAM’s other top runners are senior Seamus Queen (23 carries, 532 yards, 3 TDs) and junior Jordan Frey (19 carries, 210 yards, 3 TDs), while the Sachems have numerous passing targets, including senior Dylan Depersia (11 catches, 144 yards, 1 TD), junior Andrew Keene (6 catches, 98 yards), senior Danny Grenier (2 catches, both for TDs, totaling 85 yards), senior Kevin Clark (3 catches, 52 yards, 2 TDs) and senior Jared Gorborino (5 catches, 37 yards, 1 TD).
“They’re pretty good offensively,” Shea said. “They like to go fast, they’re running a system they all believe in. It’s a good environment they have up there. … good crowd, good energy. It’s going to be a fun day.”
Unlike last week, he added, the Blue Devils have had a good week of practice leading up to this afternoon’s game.
“We’re putting together, hopefully, a good game plan, and we’ll see what happens,” Shea said.
“After what happened last week, and the way that happened last week, it showed us a few things, too,” he added. “It showed us some glaring facts of where we’ve got to get better and how we have to tweak a few things. So we’ll see what happens this week.”
After suffering through illness and injuries in the first half of the season, Plainville is still in a position to have a very successful campaign.
“We’re still a little beat up,” Shea said. “We’re looking to get through this week, get into the bye, get healthy, then the second half of the year, we’ve still got a lot of football left. I told the kids as well, everything they still want to do is in front of them.”
Paul Angilly can be reached at 860-973-1800, or firstname.lastname@example.org