Law shuts out Strat­ford

Connecticut Post - - SPORTS - By Steve Geoghe­gan

MIL­FORD — Jonathan Law head coach Erik Larka was con­cerned with how his play­ers would come out against Strat­ford.

Two weeks ago, the Law­men were cel­e­brat­ing a his­toric and dra­matic OT vic­tory over SCC Tier 1 op­po­nent Cheshire, so he was hop­ing there wouldn’t be any kind of letdown play­ing the Red Devils.

Luck­ily, Law had a bye last week to pre­pare, and the pres­ence of se­nior run­ning back and cap­tain Michael Plaskon set the tone on of­fense with four touch­downs and the de­fense held Strat­ford in check, lead­ing to a 35-0 non-con­fer­ence win over the Red Devils on Fri­day night at Law­men Sta­dium.

Law (3-2) has now won three straight af­ter open­ing with two straight losses.

“It’s a great win be­cause com­ing off one of the best wins in pro­gram his­tory, it’s usu­ally tough to fol­low that up,” Larka said. “Usu­ally mo­men­tum lulls a lit­tle bit and know­ing that Strat­ford was 0-4, we were wor­ried the kids might not be as up for the game, but the bye week helped be­cause we watched a lot of film and got back to fun­da­men­tals. If we had played the next week, I think the emo­tions may not have been as high.”

The Law­men didn’t start off as strong as they would’ve liked with two straight in­ter­cep­tions on their first two pos­ses­sions, but like they did all night, they sti­fled the Strat­ford of­fense. On Law’s third pos­ses­sion, they hit pay­dirt when se­nior quar­ter­back Zach Smith found se­nior wide­out Ethan Sa­ley for a 24-yard score with 1:30 on the clock in the first quar­ter.

“We wanted to come out a lit­tle bit stronger (in the first half) but we still held them (Strat­ford) to zero points,” Smith said. “He (Ethan) was sup­posed to run a fade, but he saw the safety over the mid­dle and changed it to a post mid-play. I threw it up and let him do the rest.”

Law got the ball back on a turnover fol­low­ing the kick­off and three plays later, the Law­men were cel­e­brat­ing an­other TD when Smith got the ball to Plaskon on a screen and he found the end zone from 23 yards out for a 14-0 lead with 11:47 left un­til half­time.

Nei­ther team could get much go­ing un­til the last two min­utes of the half when Law cap­i­tal­ized on ideal field po­si­tion in Strat­ford ter­ri­tory. Plaskon scored his sec­ond TD from four yards out to go ahead 21-0 with 1:13 left in the half.

Plaskon paced the of­fense all night and said his block­ers up front made his job that much eas­ier.

“There’s noth­ing I can do with­out the o-line,” he said. “That’s just a fact. With­out them I wouldn’t have any­thing and they re­ally stepped it up to­day.”

Things didn’t get much bet­ter in the sec­ond half for the Red Devils even though they be­gan mov­ing the ball. Run­ning back Glen Diaz was the work horse with close to 100 yards rush­ing, but Strat­ford turned the ball over on downs three times af­ter half­time.

“We def­i­nitely had some chances,” Strat­ford head coach Jack Pe­tion said. “We kept the game some­what tight in the first half, but we’re still mak­ing a lot of key mis­takes. It’s on us as coaches to make sure we re­lay the mes­sage to get the play­ers to play how we need them to play on a con­sis­tent ba­sis. We have a lot of young bod­ies out there with the in­jury bug so I’m proud of how the kids fought.”

The sec­ond half was all about the Law de­fense and Plaskon, who had rush­ing touch­downs of 6 yards (1:32 left in the third quar­ter) and 17 yards (58 sec­onds re­main­ing) off di­rect snaps to round out the scor­ing.

“He’s a spe­cial player and a game-changer,” Larka said of his stand­out run­ning back. “When you have him, any play can turn into a touch­down.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Michael Plaskon, Law. The se­nior run­ning back had four touch­downs, three on the ground, to lead the Law­men to their third straight vic­tory of the sea­son.

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