Plainville has become a respected football program. That makes Friday night’s 20-13 road win over the Cardinals even more special for Thomas More Prep-Marian, which had dropped six straight to the Plainville since 2014.
"It’s definitely the biggest win since I’ve been the coach," second-year TMP head coach Jay Harris said.
Defense and special teams carried the Monarchs, who improved to 2-1 both overall and in the Mid-Continent League. Plainville dropped to 1-2 overall and in the MCL.
"Our defense played superb," Harris said. "They did a great job, special teams as well."
Jace Wentling booted a 31-yard field goal with 6:13 left in the first quarter to give the Monarchs the early lead.
After Parker Krob caught an 18-yard TD pass from Ethan Hamilton on the first play of the second quarter to give Plainville a 6-3 lead, TMP responded. Quarterback Kade Harris scrambled out of the pocket and raced 20 yards into the end zone. TMP led 10-6 with 6:20 left in the first half.
"Pressure was coming, and he reversed direction and scored," Coach Harris said.
Wentling added another 31-yard field goal in the second quarter to give TMP a 13-6 halftime lead.
The defense provided the next score for the Monarchs. Bryce Seib intercepted a pass for a 44-yard return, weaving his way into the end zone to make it 20-6.
"We got pressure on their quarterback, and he just kind of threw a ball up that Seib went and got," Coach Harris said. "Once he started on the return, picked up some good blocks, was able to take it in and score."
Plainville made it a one-score game with 8:48 left in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard scoring pass from Hamilton to Ben Hansen. But the veteran Monarch defense stiffened, stopping Plainville on its last possession.
The Monarchs returned seven starters on both offense and defense this fall, which helped in an offseason in which the team did not have its normal schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A lot of returners back from last year," Coach Harris said. "That makes you feel confident you can continue playing like that this year."
TMP will next play host to unbeaten Syracuse for Homecoming in the team’s district opener. The Bulldogs won 27-0 over Johnson-Stanton County on Friday.