Two defenses slugged it out Friday night at Lewis Field Stadium, as Plainville, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A, met a stern test in Thomas-More Prep-Marian in the Monarchs’ homecoming game. Plainville was able to make a couple of big plays on offense to come away with a 16-0 win at Lewis Field Stadium.
Plainville, however, did receive a bad break — literally — with the news that senior standout Jared Casey is expected to miss at least a couple weeks with a broken right hand. Plainville coach Grant Stephenson will decide this week who will take Casey’s place in the lineup at fullback and linebacker. The Cardinals travel to Smith Center next Friday to play the top-ranked Redmen in a battle of the top two teams in Class 1A.
“For the game that was going to be more difficult it got even more difficult,” Stephenson said. “It’s going to be OK. We’re still going to show up; we’re going to play. We’re going to be ready to go come Friday, give Smith Center our best shot.”
Plainville’s best shot against TMP was quarterback Jordan Finnesy, who accounted for both touchdowns to claim the Mid-Continent League victory. Plainville’s slippery senior was just out of the grasp of Monarch defenders a few times too many.
Plainville led 14-0 at halftime on a 23-yard scoring run by Finnesy in the first quarter and a 30-yard hookup with senior wingback Cody Crawford in the second period. Finnesy ran in the 2-point conversion on the second TD after the Cardinals missed the PAT after the first score. Finnesy finished with 107 yards passing and 58 rushing. The Monarch defense would flush Finnesy out of the pocket, and he would have to make something happen when the play broke down.
“He’s good at that, but I try not to rely on that,” Stephenson said.
The only scoring in the second half came on a safety early in the fourth quarter. A Plainville punt backed TMP inside the 5-yard line and a bad snap over the quarterback’s head went out of the back of the end zone.
The Monarch defense held Casey in check, limiting him to 26 yards on the ground.
“Each team probably is going to key on him, he’s a very important and big part of our offense,” Stephenson said. “Their linebackers flowed hard, and we need to do a better job executing on the offensive line.”
TMP coach Jay Harris said he is looking for improvement from his offensive line, too.
“I challenged our offensive line that we’ve got to step it up,” he said. “Defensively, we can shut people down, but offensively we’ve got to move people off the ball.”
Plainville concentrated on stopping the run, and TMP did not have an answer.
“They just had it figured out that if they put more guys in the box than we could block, they wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Harris said. “We couldn’t handle it when they would overload us like that.”
TMP was held to 53 yards rushing.
“Defense, I was pleased for the most part how we played,” Stephenson said. “We did several things well on the defensive side of the ball.”
A Plainville offense averaging 25 points after the first two games was held to 196 yards in total offense by the Monarchs.
“I’m proud of our defense,” Harris said. “They did a really great job.”
TMP senior lineman Ryan Richmeier suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return.
TMP (1-2 overall, 1-2 MCL) will travel to Hoisington next Friday, the top-ranked team in Class 2A. Hoisington (3-0) defeated Larned 41-19 on Friday. Plainville (3-0, 3-0) will be at Smith Center (3-0, 3-0), a 27-7 winner over Phillipsburg, ranked third in Class 2A. The Redmen (3-0, 3-0) are ranked No. 1 in Class 1A.