Plainville football plans to attack through air in 2022 and repeat history against Lewis Mills

Published on Wednesday, 7 September 2022 15:13
Written by Cameron Beall


PLAINVILLE – The Plainville Blue Devils are going through a bit of turnover, replacing six starters on each side of the ball in 2022 after a 7-3 campaign a season ago. The Blue Devils did return some of the most important players to their operation, according to head coach Tim Shea, to be able to play the style of football they want.

“We’re going to throw the ball,” Shea said. “We threw the ball a lot last year and if that’s the way that game goes then so be it. Obviously, we’ll try and establish the run, but we are not afraid to throw the ball.”

Shea highlighted senior quarterback MJ Bakaysa, noting how lucky they are to have him back this season. Bakaysa threw 23 touchdowns in 2021. The continuity at that position supplemented with the experience at wide receiver is perhaps what Shea is most excited about on the offensive side of the ball. 

The Blue Devils also have depth at offensive line strictly in terms of the number of players in that group, but Shea has been tasked with replacing four of his five starters from a season ago.

On the other side of the line of scrimmage, however, the defensive front is expected to be a strong point for Plainville. The team is welcoming back junior Bobby Wright along with seniors Alan Quirion and Jaylen Thigpen to the front of their defense in a concerted effort to stop the run in 2022.

“The big thing we’re trying to do is stop the run and win on third down,” Shea said. “If you can do that defensively, you’re generally going to be on the right side of things; if you struggle there, every week is going to be an adventure.”

Linebacker is a position Plainville is trying to sure up at the moment. Shea noted that linebacker is a prime position that most teams are always trying to get the most out of, and “if you have a couple good linebackers, you’re generally in really good shape.”

The Blue Devils will get their season underway Thursday night on the road against the Lewis Mills Spartans at 6:30 p.m. A season ago Plainville went on the road to Lewis Mills and escaped with a come-from-behind win thanks to 15 points in the final quarter. The Blue Devils won that matchup 22-15.

Plainville should have an early opportunity to show off their improved run defense in 2022. A season ago the Spartans rushed for 195 yards on 44 carries against the Blue Devils. Running back James Roben accounted for 20 of those carries as well as the team’s two touchdowns that night; he’ll be back this season opposite the experienced defensive interior of Plainville.

The Spartans only passed for 24 yards in this matchup last season.

Each of these teams allowed within 1.4 points per game of each other a season ago – 21.1 for Plainville and 19.7 for Lewis Mills – but Plainville had a much more productive offense. The Blue Devils scored 22 points per contest as opposed to Lewis Mills’ 15.5. It is worth noting that the points allowed category spiked last season for Plainville thanks to two games which turned out to be massive outliers in comparison to the rest of their results. A Week 2 loss to Bloomfield which the Blue Devils lost by a final score of 48-0, and a Week 9 loss to Bristol Central, which ended 46-0.

Plainville at Lewis Mills

When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Lewis Mills High School

Records: Plainville 0-0 (7-3 2021), Lewis Mills 0-0 (4-6 2021)

Last Meeting: Plainville 22, Lewis Mills 15 (10/8/2021)

The Breakdown

This game should be a good opportunity for Plainville to get out on the right foot. The Blue Devils were a good team on the road only losing one game away from Plainville all season in a close matchup with RHAM which ended in a 25-21 final. These teams seem to have opposing offensive strategies as Plainville will look to air it out and Lewis Mills rushed the ball 75 more times than the national average in 2021. The Blue Devils want to improve upon their rush defense from a season ago with three starters returning on the defensive line and head coach Tim Shea should have a lot of film in that department by Friday morning.

Cameron Beall’s Prediction

Plainville 27, Lewis Mills 13

Posted in New Britain Herald, Plainville on Wednesday, 7 September 2022 15:13. Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2022 15:16.