FOOTBALL: Platt crushes Farmington, on verge of milestone victory

FOOTBALL: Platt crushes Farmington, on verge of milestone victory


MERIDEN — The Platt football team’s balanced offensive attack was on full display during Friday’s CCC Division II crossover game against Farmington.

The Panthers scored three touchdowns via the air and three by way of the ground in leveling the Indians 42-7 on Opening Night at Falcon Field.

“Look at the amount of people who touched the ball,” Platt coach Jason Bruenn said. “All our receivers can catch and they can run. Obviously, our running back is tremendous, our quarterback runs the offense well and then the guys up front did a great job. When you talk about spreading the ball out, we spread the ball out.”

Junior running back E.J. Dudley rushed for two TDs, while three different Panthers hauled in scoring strikes from quarterback A.J. Marinelli.

It was a dominating performance. Platt built a 35-0 edge by halftime. Per CIAC rules, the second half was played with a running clock.

“The key thing is winning the home opener,” Bruenn added. “It kind of sets the tone for the whole year. We’re off to a great start. If these guys want to do great things and move on to the postseason, they have to continue to get better.”

Platt scored on its opening drive of the season courtesy of a 10-yard touchdown pass from Marinelli to tight end Elijah Felton. The Panthers marched 47 yards and took advantage of a pass interference call against Farmington on fourth down to go ahead 6-0.

The Panthers went up 14-0 with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter when Marinelli hooked up with Devon Gardner from 16 yards out. Dudley helped sustain that drive with a 34-yard run.

Unofficially, Marinelli completed 5-of-6 passes for 59 yards in the opening quarter.

‘I’ve never personally won an opening night game as a varsity player,” he said. “It felt really good. It’s exactly who we wanted to start the season.”

Jake Baker gave the Panthers prime field position to start the second quarter when he broke two tackles for a 41-yard punt return. Two plays later, Dudley dived into the end zone to give the hosts a three-touchdown lead.

Bruenn’s team kept its foot on the gas pedal, grabbing a 28-0 advantage when Baker caught a pass at the 8-yard line, cut inside and dragged three Indians with him into the end zone. It was the kind of toughness the Panthers displayed all night.

Platt held its ground in keeping the shutout going deep into the second half, stuffing Farmington twice at the 1-yard line before a fumble gave the Panthers possession. All Platt did was move the ball 99 yards, capped by Dudley’s 5-yard TD rumble, to take the commanding 35-0 cushion into halftime.

It was much the same in the second half, as Tremayne Carter started the third quarter with a 15-yard touchdown catch. Farmington answered with Aidan Sposatos’ diving catch in the end zone in breaking the shutout.

Platt has high hopes for the season after going 8-3 last fall and reaching the Class L quarterfinals. The Panthers have never lost to Farmington. They lead the all-time series 10-0.

With the victory, Platt is 299-287-10 all-time in program history. The Panthers go for win No. 300 next Thursday at Falcon against Windham.

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