PLYMOUTH-Defense was the name of game in the final regular season match-up with the Northwood Panthers at the Rockpile. In the end, missed opportunities by Plymouth led Northwood to a 7-3 win over the Rockies. The Panthers finish their season 4-5 while Plymouth ends at 6-3.
Not since 2003 have the Rockies not been able to score a touchdown in a ballgame, that was against Elkart Memorial when Plymouth was shutout 21-0.
“This was a disappointing end to the season. Just a disappointing loss. Our offense never got going consistently and when we did, we had three times to punch it in, and didn’t. What’s lost in the loss in the strong play of our defense. That’s what’s frustrating.”, said Head Coach John Barron.
Those three opportunities came once in the Second quarter and twice with under five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Plymouth had the football inside the NW20 all three times, including twice inside the NW10 yard line.
“We simply have to score. We settled for a Field Goal off a 19 play drive in the Second quarter when we had it inside their 20. We had trouble blocking by our Tight Ends in key situations . We watched the film, from Tackle to Tackle they did their job blocking, our outsides didn’t. We can correct that.”, said Barron.
Plymouth finished with 240 total yards on the game, just under 100 yards under their average.
“Give credit to Northwood. They play us tough every year no matter where we are. They (Northwood) made the key stops when they had too. Coy Brown not only was tough on offense but he was everywhere defensively. He’s a good player.”, said Barron.
Plymouth finished with only 35 yards passing in which Houston Hodges threw 4 times and completed 3 passes and one interception.
“Believe it or not, we can throw the football. We have a quarterback who can make good decisions. It just didn’t happen for one reason or another. We will have a better understanding of what our mission will be offensively by Monday’s practice I promise that.”, said Barron.
Next week begins the Sectionals. The first game will be at the Rockpile against the South Bend Washington Panthers (6-3) who also come off a 29-28 loss to Mishawaka last Friday night after having the lead until the fourth quarter.
“Coach (Antwon) Jones will have his team ready. They are real good on offense. Possibly three Division I candidates as recievers and a quarterback that gets them the football. We have to be disciplined defensively. I thought last nights defensive effort was strong for us. We can build off the performance. Washington will show all kinds of formations that you’ll probably never see done by any other high school offense. We have to read keys and be physical.”, added Barron.