Football: Lawmen defeat Guilford Indians, 40-32
November 2 was unofficially the Michael Plaskon showcase, as the Jonathan Law running back scored five touchdowns to lead the Lawmen to a 40-32 victory over Guilford in Milford on Friday night.
Plaskon rushed for a total of 235 yards, passed for 20 yards and even grabbed an interception. He ran for four touchdowns and caught a scoring pass from Zach Smith.
Smith had an equally as impressive game, passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns.
Smith’s other scoring throw was to Ethan Saley, who had 51 yards receiving with a touchdown.
“The only thing he can’t do is be an o-line guy, but he probably could if he wanted to,” Law coach Erik Larka said of Plaskon. “Coming off the week that we had with Daniel Hand (a 68-0 loss), we weren’t sure if we would be here mentally, physically or spiritually...Tonight proved that we had the resolve to bounce back (and improve to 5-3).”
The Guilford Indians (4-3) were very equitable with their five touchdowns — Miles Gabriel, Charles Schioppo, Charles Walcott, Ethan Vashel and Tyler Filley all scored.
The Indians got the ball first and on their third play from scrimmage, Plaskon intercepted Vashel to give Law the ball at its own 19. Smith then found Saley for 21, 32 and 10 yards.
Plaskon scored his first touchdown from 35 yards out on a run-pass option, giving Law a 7-0 lead on Spencer Hannon’s PAT.
Guilford recovered a Law fumble at the eight-yard line and Vashel threw a 4-yard TD pass to Gabriel. The Pat was missed and Law still led, 7-6.
After Law’s drive stalled out at midfield, the Indians put together an 11-play drive, marching 80 yards to take a 13-7 lead. Schioppo scored the drive’s touchdown from one yard out but that was after he rushed 18 yards down to the 1. On that play, it appeared that he fumbled the ball and that it was recovered by Law in the end zone for a touchback. However, the referees ruled the runner down by contact and Guilford took the lead.
After another Law three-and-out, Guilford started with the ball at their own 31. On the third play, the Indians fumbled the ball and Michael Becker was there to pick it up for the Lawmen. The very next play, Smith found Saley for a 29-yard touchdown to take back the lead, 14-13.
Guilford struck back. Walcott rushed for 36 yards. Schioppo ran for five more. Walcott then rushed for 12 yards to set up his 8-yard score, giving Guilford a 19-14 lead.
Law took over at the 32-yard line on the following drive.
After Plaskon rushed for five yards, Smith found Plaskon streaking down the Guilford sideline for a 57-yard touchdown pass. Plaskon’s receiving score gave Law a 20-19 lead.
The Indians responded with a great return from Schioppo to the Law 31. Vashel then found Walcott for 16 yards and Filley for 13 yards to set up a two-yard Vashel QB sneak to give Guilford the lead at the half, 25-20.
“We don’t know how the playoffs are going to turn out, but we’re playing every game like it’s a playoff elimination game,” Larka said. “There might be one 7-3 team and if there is, we hope it’s us.”
To start the second half, the Lawmen began at the 31-yard line. The very next play, Plaskon scored from 69 yards out to take back the lead, 26-25. The Law offensive line of Nick Hanna, Austin Danville, Ryan Mola, Zachary Gluhanic and Erik Borgerson created gaping holes for Plaskon all night.
After the Law defense forced a Guilford three-and-out, punctuated by Naheim Washington’s pass deflection, the Lawmen took over on offense at their own 9.
Plaskon rushed for five and then Smith was sacked. Smith then found Saley for 10 yards and Plaskon scored again from 81 yards out to give Law a 33-25 lead.
After the Law and Guilford traded three-and-outs, Washington’s interception and 20-yard return kept the rally going for Law.
Starting at the Guilford 39, Plaskon tried his skills at quarterback, passing to Zach Merchant for 20 yards. After a 1-yard rush from Smith, Plaskon scored from 18 yards out to help Law score 20 answered points, taking a 40-25 lead into the fourth quarter.
With 1:57 to play, Vashel found Filley for a 61-yard touchdown to make it a 40-32 game.