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Despite the rain, Platt dominates Avon in 34-0 shutout

Avon’s Nick Seminara (2) closes in on Platt’s Zach Baker during Friday’s CCC Tier III contest. in Avon.

AVON, Sept. 29, 2023 – Despite steady and consistent rain, the visiting Platt High football team made several big plays to beat Avon on Friday night, 34-0 on the turf field.

Panthers quarterback Melvin Sanchez threw a pair of touchdown passes while Zack Baker, Robert Millette and Amari Robinson each ran for touchdowns as Platt rolled over the Falcons on the turf field in a CCC Tier III contest.

Despite the rain, Platt (2-1, 1-0 CCC Tier III) scored more points against the Falcons than they had scored in their previous two games (29).

“We started to spark offensively,” Platt High coach Jason Breunn said. “We needed a game to get the offense going. We got the ball into the hands of kids we need to have the ball in their hands.”

Baker got the Panthers on the board early in the first quarter on a 66-yard run up the middle of the field for a 7-0 lead. After an Avon turnover, Sanchez threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Baker for a 13-0 lead.

Sanchez completed 7-of-10 passes for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Robinson caught five passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Bruenn was thrilled with the win and playing in the rain. “It’s football,’ he proclaimed. “This is football.”

Meanwhile, the Falcons struggled for the second week in a row in the rain. Last Saturday, Avon marched right down the field on their opening drive to take an early lead against East Lyme. The Falcons led 14-0 at one point but didn’t much of anything offensively after their initial drive.

The Falcons haven’t scored a point in the last six quarters of football.

“(The rain) doesn’t change the game,” Avon head coach Brendan Smith said. “You still need to execute and be disciplined. We didn’t do that today.”

Avon had 11 penalties including a whopping 10 illegal motion penalties on offense, usually when a player forgets the snap count and moves early.

Avon was playing hard-nosed John Murphy, who ran well in last weekend’s 28-14 loss to East Lyme and lead running back Nik Meltser, who sat out much of the second half after getting banged up.

“We all know the problem and we need to do to fix (them),” Smith said. “It’s obvious. I think the message is going to positively work to that direction together.”

There were a few Avon highlights. Carter Davies changed directions in the third quarter and scrambled away from the pile for a 62-yard gain to the Avon 19-yard line. But in the following series of downs in the red zone (inside the 20-yard line), Avon had four penalties, including three illegal motion penalties.

Davies ran for a team-leading 72 yards on nine carries and junior Michael Prisco recovered a pair of fumbles in the first half for the Falcons.

The two schools met on the gridiron a year ago for their first meeting since 1991 with the Panthers winning 39-0.

Platt took a 7-0 lead on a 66-yard run up the middle and through a few would-be tacklers from Baker with 8:08 gone in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, the Panthers made it 13-0 on a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jesus Vasquez with 9:16 left in the second quarter.

Robert Millette’s one-yard run with eight seconds left in the first half gave the Panthers a 20-0 advantage at halftime.

On fourth down and one at the Avon 19-yard line, Robinson ran up the middle and into the end zone to give Platt a 27-0 advantage. The final pass play of the day came was a 59-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez to Robinson that gave Platt a 34-0 lead.

The Falcons visit E.O. Smith in Storrs next weekend.

Platt 34, Avon 0
At Avon
Platt (2-1)           7  13  7  7  — 34
Avon (1-2)          0  0  0  0  — 0
First quarter
P: Zack Baker 66 run (Jesus Vasquez kick), 8:08
Second quarter
P: Baker 40 pass from Melvin Sanchez (kick fails), 9:16
P: Robert Millette 1 run (Vasquez kick), 0:08
Third quarter
P: Amari Robinson 19 run (Vasquez kick) 6:06
P: Robinson 59 pass from Sanchez (Vasquez kick), 10:21
Individual statistics
RUSHING: Avon – David Minami 8-14, Carter Davies 9-72, Nick Seminara 3-7, Nik Meltser 15-21
PASSING: Avon – David Minami 1-5-1, minus 4; Platt – Melvin Sanches 7-10-0, 141
RECEIVING: Avon – Andrew Sielski 1-minus 4; Platt – Amari Robinson 5-93, Zach Baker 2-58

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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