MERIDEN — If Platt High School drew up a blueprint for its ideal start to the 2018 powder puff game, it was likely matched exactly by how things materialized on the field.
Two unanswered scores in the first half put Platt in cruise control on Monday night, and the Panthers earned a three-peat with a 14-7 victory at Falcon Field.
“It was such a release,” Panthers head coach Drew Blythe said of his team’s fast start. “Just to have all the hard work pay off. The team played their butts off.”
A fourth-down stop at Maloney’s 30-yard line led to a 30-yard touchdown from Daniela Sevilla on the Panthers’ second play from scrimmage to give Platt an early 7-0 lead. Later in the first half, consecutive penalties backed the Panthers up over 20 yards, but Alyssa Donahue connected with Elizabeth Garlock through the air for a 48-yard score to seize momentum with eight minutes left in the second quarter.
Panthers offensive coordinator Chantal Ridlon took a gamble with her team backtracking due to flags, but the rare pass call paid off in a huge way.
“Coach Ridlon called a perfect game,” Blythe said. “She decided that was going to work with Alyssa. She threw a perfect pass, and it lifted up our team.”
It also lifted the spirits of Donahue, who took the time to embrace her role after her pass fell safely in the arms of Garlock.
“Lizzie did a great job of making that catch,” Donahue said. “I felt on top of the world after I completed that pass.”
Searching for a response after negative total yards in the first quarter, Maloney converted back-to-back first downs before Anne Bekasi was stopped in the backfield for a six-yard loss on a crucial third down play near midfield, forcing another Spartans punt.
The Panthers opened the second half with a drive that ate seven minutes off the game clock but turned the ball over on downs.
Maloney found its offensive groove in the fourth quarter, moving the sticks four times before punching in its first score of the game on a rushing touchdown by Shauntazia Davenport, but the Spartans burned almost eight minutes of game clock in the process.
By the time they kicked off to Platt, only a minute and a half remained.
“They played tough,” Spartans head coach Mike Torda said of his team’s effort.
They were super clean in every aspect of the game. The scoreboard didn’t go our way, but Platt played a heck of a game.”