Week 9 High School Football Recap: Platt keeping ’em close, winning thanks to defense

The Platt High School football team won its first game of the year, over Tolland, by one point, 15-14. On Oct. 20, Platt beat Bristol Eastern 7-6. The next week, the Panthers beat South Windsor by two, 21-19.

Last Friday, the Panthers won by a large margin (for them), 28-7, over Farmington to move to 7-1 on the season.

Sometimes, it’s a little stressful for coach Jason Bruenn.

“South Windsor was close, the first drive we stuffed them on the 1,” he said. “We went 99 yards for a TD. Later on, they missed a PAT so it was 14-13. We scored, they scored, they went for 2, we stuffed them on the 2-point conversion. Then with 9 seconds left, they’re on our 1 pushing in and we stuffed them again.”

Platt won that game 21-19.

“Why is Platt like this?” Bruenn said. “I don’t know. We played Bristol Eastern. We’re up 7-0. They scored so it was 7-6. We had too many guys on the field. They moved it to the 1 ½ yard line, then we stuffed them on the two-point try.

“We’re playing really good defense right now. We’re winning by the skin of our teeth but listen, a win’s a win.”

Defensively, Platt, currently the top seed in Class MM, is solid. Senior leadership – Platt has 17 – is helping. Defensive lineman Julian Frias, linebackers Avalino Nieves and Landon Freemantle have been leading the way along with Jayden Vegan, a 6-4, 260-pound defensive tackle.

“That box up front has been real good to us as far as stopping the run,” Bruenn said. “Our secondary is younger, they’re coming around. We have five defensive lineman we rotate around, all seniors.

“We have good senior leadership. I think the team as a whole has bought in more to our philosophy.”

Some top performances last week:

Jason Acheampong, Rockville: Acheampong had 15 tackles and one sack in a 35-14 win over North Branford.

Dante Casdia, Glastonbury: Casdia had two rushing touchdowns and caught a 16-yard pass for another touchdown and had 21 carries for 117 yards in Glastonbury’s 37-10 win over Conard.

Brady Cersosimo, Conard: Cersosimo was 12 for 17 passing for 137 yards and a touchdown in a 37-10 loss to Glastonbury.

C.J. DiBenedetto, Southington: DiBenedetto was 23 for 47 and passed for 262 yards and one touchdown in a 20-18 loss to Maloney Friday.

Hashim Jones, Capital: Jones had four touchdowns as Capital beat Stafford 27-6.

Amir Knighton, Rockville: Knighton had three touchdowns – a 52-yard run, a 5-yard run and a 21-yard reception from Brady Ramsdell and rushed for 167 yards (and had an interception) in Rockville’s 35-14 win over North Branford.

Toby Lavender, Berlin: Lavender had three touchdowns, a 21-yard run and two 3-yard runs, and 103 yards rushing as Berlin defeated Newington 38-16 Friday.

Ethan Nedinsky, Maloney: The Maloney quarterback was 9 for 22 on passing attempts for 134 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-18 win over Southington Friday.

Brady Rossacci, Sheehan: Rossacci rushed for 304 yards on 37 carries and had two touchdowns in a 35-6 victory over Law.