Whether or not the Plainville football team will make the Class M playoffs will come down to the wire as it plays Farmington on Thursday in its regular-season finale.
The Blue Devils are currently the last team in at No. 8, but hold just a three-point cushion against ninth-ranked Watertown. Obviously, a loss to the winless River Hawks would severely hurt their chances of qualifying, however much of Plainville's fate will lie in how the rest of the top-10 teams fare.
Second-ranked Granby/Canton will play No. 10 Gilbert/NW/Housy, third-ranked Rockville will play fourth-ranked Ellington and No. 7 Torrington will play No. 9 Watertown.
The Blue Devils likely won't be too worried about the rest of the competition though and instead, will strive to bring their A-game in order to secure the victory at Farmington.
"The thing with the playoffs, if you deserve to get in, you'll get in," Plainville coach Tim Shea said ahead of its game against E.O. Smith. "Things have a way of shaking out in the end. If we're in the cards for that, great.”
A 46-0 shutout loss to Bristol Central occurred the last time the Blue Devils played on the gridiron, however the week prior, it was Plainville who posted the clean sheet with a 34-0 win against E.O. Smith.
The Blue Devils have been up and down to close out the regular season with two losses in their previous three games after only losing once through their first six.
The River Hawks on the other hand, have struggled all year long and have been beaten handily in just about every contest. A nine-point loss to Central was their closest defeat this season on Oct. 1.
Farmington favors the air attack as it has totaled 1084 passing yards, compared to 502 rushing yards through nine games. Ten River Hawks touchdowns have been scored on pass-catch combinations while they've managed one score on the ground.
Farmington's defense seems to be the real issue though as it's allowed 364 points so far while giving up an average of 40 points a game.
During the last Turkey Day matchup in 2019, Plainville took the win, 27-21. It counted as the first victory over Farmington since 2014 for the Blue Devils.
Plainville also qualified for its first playoff berth in nine years with the win, in a game that held similar stakes to this year's battle.
“All we could have controlled is what we did,” Shea said in 2019. “I didn’t want to know what happened in the other games. I just didn’t want to know. We just wanted to take care of what we could control, and if the chips fell, we’d keep playing. And we are.”
Kick off for Thursday morning's installment of the Olde Canal Cup is set for 10 a.m.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.