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Big plays ruled the day for Plainfield East Saturday evening on its way to a 37-17 victory over Metea Valley at home.
The teams were originally scheduled to play Friday but forced to reschedule due to the thunderstorms. They started slow in their first game of the season, however, once the flood gates opened for the Bengals they started eating up yards in big chunks. After both teams went scoreless in the first quarter, senior running back Jay Parker got Metea Valley on the scoreboard first with 1-yard touchdown to cap off a 44-yard drive. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the lead didn't last long. On the first play following the touchdown Plainfield East quarterback Cole Kotopka hit a streaking wide receiver for an 80-yard touchdown pass, quickly tying the game. The Bengals scored again less than two minutes later after an interception led to a 15-yard touchdown run by Jake Mayon. The scoring continued for Plainfield East when Kotopka connected with Mayon on a screen pass for a 35 yard touchdown. Parker helped his team get into score before the half, but they were held to a field goal, and went into the break with a Bengals led 21-10. Plainfield East picked back up in the third quarter with an 85-yard drive resulting in a goal-line touchdown on an end around. The Bengals' defense then forced two fumbled snaps, the second resulting in a safety. With a commanding 20-point lead the Plainfield East offense let off the gas a little and struggled to get going again. A string of bad snaps of their own turned into a fumble recovered by the Mustangs, which they turned into 7 points on a 16-yard swing pass from Bell to Nick Dodson. While the Metea offense showed flashes of brilliance, it struggled to string together big plays. It twice reached the red zone and left without points, including a Bell interception in the end zone. Even with their struggles, the Mustangs seemed only one big play away from turning the game around. That all changed when the Mustangs' third and final interception was returned 30 yards for a defensive touchdown to lift the Bengals' lead back to 20 points with just more than five minutes to go in the game, icing the victory for Plainfield East.