PLAINVILLE — Platt quarterback Avery Robinson connected with Vittiro Church for two separate eight-yard touchdowns within a span of 2:37.
These were two of nine connections between the two Panthers and two of five passing touchdowns thrown by Robinson as Platt took down Plainville 42-7 on Friday night in a CCC interdivisional game at Tinty Field to improve to 2-2.
Platt’s senior quarterback had a remarkable night, with most of his damage coming in the first half.
Robinson’s first of five passing touchdowns came on Platt’s opening drive. After four straight completions to Church, Robinson spotted Zackery Baker open down field and threw a ball that coasted perfectly into his hands, resulting in a 45-yard score.
Before that touchdown, Plainville (0-4) opened up the game with a long nine-play, 40-yard drive that ended in a punt. After that, Platt’s defense didn’t allow a first down again until halfway through the second quarter.
Panthers head coach Jason Bruenn credited the offense for helping out the defense by scoring early.
“Once our offense starts scoring, you start calling plays differently,” Bruenn said. “It’s a little bit more predictable when you’re behind. You can’t run the ball as much; you’ve got to throw the ball.”
While the Platt defense was making stops on each Plainville possession, the Platt quarterback was firing darts all over the field to his receivers.
Robinson opened up the game 11-for-12 passing, including the two touchdowns to Church in under three minutes. A Robinson to Church two-point conversion after Church’s second score made it 21-0 Panthers with 9:10 left in the second quarter.
Robinson and Church have a special connection, playing football together since they were 9-years old.
“He’s like family to me,” Church said. “We’re brothers on the field, off the field. We know how to work together and have fun.”
The score remained 21-0 until under a minute remained in the first half. In a two-minute drill, Robinson led a six-play, 61-yard drive concluded by a 7-yard touchdown pass to Baker with 19.7 seconds left.
The Panthers led 28-0 at halftime. After the first play of the second half, it was 35-0.
Platt running back Corey Rogers took a handoff at the Platt 39, gained first-down yardage, then fumbled. Deante Torres alertly snared the ball in mid-air and took it the rest of the way to complete a 61-yard touchdown.
With the comfortable lead, Robinson had just two pass attempts in the second half. One was to Baker for 25 yards and the other was to Kevin Acosta for a 23-yard touchdown, Robinson’s fifth and final passing touchdown of the evening.
Robinson finished 18-for-26 for 255 yards and five touchdowns, with 181 yards and four touchdowns coming in the first half.
Bruenn had nothing but praise for Robinson’s play.
“He’s a good quarterback,” Bruenn said. “He practices hard and he’s got an incredible arm and he likes to throw to his receivers.
“He actually enjoys throwing to those receivers. They’re his best buddies.”
Robinson joked about wanting a better performance Friday night.
“I was trying to go for six [touchdowns] this week,” Robinson said with a laugh. “You get what you could take.”
As for Church, he didn’t get a catch in the second half, but he had a phenomenal first half and finished with nine catches for 108 yards, two touchdowns and the two-point conversion.
The 42-7 victory was huge for the Panthers, who have had an inconsistent season so far. They lost to Berlin by 10, beat Bristol Eastern by a touchdown and lost to North Haven 49-0 last week.
Bruenn said the early season problems don’t all have to do with on-field talent and ability.
“We’ve had some off-the-field issues; kids that don’t necessarily want to listen and do what we ask them to do,” Bruenn said. “We’ve tried to straighten that out.”
However, Bruenn saw much improvement this week and stressed the importance of fixing those off-the-field issues.
“This week, we had one of our better weeks of practice; kids were locked in,” the head coach said. “We have better focus on what we need to do.”
Platt will host Avon at Falcon Field next Friday looking to go above .500 on the season. It will be the first of three straight home games for the Panthers after they played three times on the road in the first four weeks.