The Bristol Central Rams have been looking for that perfect football game all season long. Friday night at Plainville they came close to perfection, dominating from start to finish for a 46-0 shutout of Plainville. The Rams established control from the start on the defensive side, played a solid and balanced offense and rolled to their eight straight win, temporarily knocking the Blue Devils out of post-season playoff position.
“Right off the bat some of the things we worked all week on defensively paid off,” said Central coach Jeff Papazian. “We took them out of their comfort zone and we were able to capitalize early and things just rolled from there.”
After putting together a long drive for a touchdown on their opening series, the Rams sacked quarterback M.J. Bakaysa on the Devils second play from scrimmage, forcing a fumble that was turned into a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. An interception on the next series led to another Central score and the Rams had a 20-0 lead before the Devils had a chance to run ten offensive plays.
“We’ve been maligned on defense all year,” said Papazian, “but they really stepped up tonight. The D line and the back seven they all went out and did their jobs. That’s a quality Plainville team. Tim (Shea) does a real good job with them, But our defense was able to take away what they do best tonight.”
Central ate up more than half the opening period with a 13-play, 65 yard drive to take a 6-0 lead on Victor Rosa’s four-yard run with 5:18 left.
IT looked like the game might turn into another one of those back-and-forth shootouts that the Rams have been involved in for much of the season when Bakaysa connected with Joseph Vasquez for 30 yards on the Devils first play. But on the next play, the Central defensive line swarmed Bakaysa and Malachi Jones came up with the loose ball to set up another long drive for the Rams.
The drive was marred by penalties, but the Rams were able to convert on multiple plays to keep it alive. On third and 18, Rosa found Tre Blair for a 16-yard reception, then ran for 20 on fourth and two. Later in the drive, facing fourth and four at the Devils 19, Rosa again broke free for a 15-yard game. Rosa scored from four yards out to open the second period.
Plainville’s next drive ended after five plays when Anthony Paulino intercepted a Bakaysa pass near midfield. Three plays later Rosa broke loose for 37 yards to make it 20-0 and the rout was on.
Damion Glasper scored on a 59 yard run late in the second period, Rosa connected with Ashton Zabka for 31 yards and a score on another fourth down play early in the third and Justin Despins set the game into running clock mode with a one-yard plunge on the last play of the third period.
With the reserves in the game in the final period, the Rams were attempting to run out the clock when backup quarterback Nik Salinas found an open seam in the Plainville defense and broke free for a 63 yard run on what would end up being the last play of the game.
Rosa again led the attack for the Rams with 30 carries for 245 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 2,316 yards and 36 touchdowns on the season. But Rosa had a solid support cast in this one. Glasper rushed for 73 yards and Salinas netted 70. Tre Blair caught four passes for 39 yards.
“We were able to share the ball pretty decently offensively,” said Papazian. ”Obviously when the chips are down we know where we’re going, but I thought Damion, Tre, Justin and Ashton gave us a big boost and an added dimension tonight.
Central’s defense held the Devils to negative rushing yardage and were more effective against the passing game than they have been for most of the season. Bakaysa connected on 13 of 25 passes for 119 yards including a couple of big hookups with Vazquez, but most of his completions were of the short yardage variety and receivers were tackled immediately.
The Rams forced three turnovers. Jones had the fumble recovery and Paulino and Salinas each had interceptions. Salinas’ pick came after Xavier Ramirez tipped a Bakaysa pass right into his hands on Plainville’s final play of the game.
The Rams remain in the fifth position in the class L playoffs, as all of the teams ahead of them were victorious on Friday. Plainville dropped to 6-3 on the year and is currently ninth in the Class M rankings, but still very much alive in the race with teams ahead of them facing challenging matchups down the stretch as the Devils prepare for their season finale at Farmington.
Bristol Central 46, Plainville 0
Bristol Central 6 22 12 6 – 46
Plainville 0 0 0 0 - 0
BC – Victor Rosa, 4 run (run failed), 5:18
BC – Rosa, 4 run (Rosa run), 11:11
BC – Rosa, 37 run (run failed), 8:05
BC – Damion Glasper, 59 run (Justin Despins run), 2:22
BC – Ashton Zabka, 31 pass from Rosa (run failed), 7:58
BC – Despins, 1 run (no PAT attempt), 1:56
BC – Nik Salinas, 63 run (no PAT attempt), 2:11.
Rushing: BC – Victor Rosa 30-245, Damion Glasper 4-73, Tre Blair 2-9, Justin Despins 4-11, Nik Salinas 2-70, Amarri Gaskin 3-8, Plainville – Mike Bakaysa 4 – (-16), Kye McGraw 4 – (-2).
Passing: BC – Rosa 7-11-0 for 76 yds. Plainville – Bakaysa 13-25-2 for 119 yds
Receiving: BC – Blair 4-39, Glasper 1-6, Zabka 1 31. Plainville – Joseph Vasquez 6-93, Jacob Benvenuto 2-16, Justin Emery 4-7. McGraw 1-3.