The Battle for â€śOl Hickoryâ€ť entered it’s 13 meeting between the Plymouth Rockies and the Rochester Zebras. And for a 10th time â€śOl Hickoryâ€ť will stay in Plymouth thanks to a 48-7 win over the Zebras in Rochster.
â€śThis was a big win for this years football program. It was our â€śCharacterâ€ť game, I challenged our kids to play the hardest they’ve ever played against a solid football program like Rochester. They answered my challenge.â€ť, said Coach John Barron.
Plymouth jumped out to an early lead with under five minutes left in the first quarter when Brock Smith scored his first of four touchdowns on the evening, when he scampered fours yards into the inzone. It was a 12 play-60 yard scoring drive that started the eventual route.
â€śWe needed to come out and set the tone. We did that with a 12 play drive that chewed up five minutes of clock. We completed a fouth down play in the process. That’s Rockie football, making the big play when needed.â€ť, said Barron.
After the Bremen game, Coach Barron put another challenge, to his defense playing four quarters of football. Plymouth responded after their offensive score with a Damon Howe strip of the football from Rochsters Zac Schultz and chugged 20 yards for defensive score.
â€śWe have to work on his touchdown celebration. It was ugly.â€ť, said Barron jokingly. â€śIt was no suprise Damon made that play for us, it’s what he does. That was an effort play and he took it away from their kid.â€ť
Leading 14-0 in the Second quarter, it was another impressive lengthly drive by the Rockies that lead to a 21-0 score when Brock Smith scampered in two yards for his second score on a 9 play drive. Rochester got a late score before halftime to make the Rockie lead 21-7.
â€śMy halftime speech didn’t change from the pre-game chat. Keep playing hard and put them away.â€ť, said Barron.
Once again, Plymouth answered the coaches challenge by scoring three times in the third quarter including a 38 yard Interception Return for a touchdown by Brock Smith, the second time in two games Brock has scored a defensive touchdown off a pick.
â€śWow! What a kid. It’s the second time an opponent has thrown into the flats where he’s read the play, picked off the pass and scored. My hope is more teams will be making the same mistake.â€ť, said Barron. â€śThat’s two games where our defense has scored three times total. I’ll take that anyday!â€ť
Next opponent, Warsaw, the opening of the NLC season. Unfortunately, Plymouth will be without their Head Coach, John Barron, for his two unsportsmanlike penalties that forced him to leave the ballgame in the fourth quarter.
â€śIt was stupid on my part. Stupid. I know better than getting kicked out of a ballgame for a none call. But my kid got â€śhorsecollaredâ€ť and it wasn’t called. It was a dangerous play that went unoticed somehow. The first flag was thrown by the line judge who asked me to get back to the sideline while I was trying to get the attention of the referee. That was my first flag. Nothing vulger was said on my part….nothing even directed to the line judge who threw the flag, and when I got back to the sideline, my assistants told me I was kicked out of the game for not getting back to the sideline quicker after the line judges first warning. I was so surprised I wasn’t sure what to do.â€ť, said Barron. â€śAfter the game the referee came to me and apologized for not getting to sideline quick enough for me to talk to him and prevent what had happened.â€ť
â€śWhat’s done is done. I apologized to my staff, my administration, and to my playersâ€ť, said Barron. â€śBut if you think this football team will struggle without their head coach, your mistaking. I have a staff of seven years that have been winning football games with me. They know my system, they know what I expect and their expectations are the same as mine.Â We are a family. We take care of each other. And we plan to win each game we play. Nothing is going to change come this Friday against Warsaw. We will be prepared!â€ť
Plymouth will be busy city this weekend with Blueberry Festivities starting Friday night.Â The kids will not be in school due to â€śIn-Serviceâ€ť. Focus will be key all this week for the 2-0 Rockies as they face their NLC Rival Warsaw who comes in 0-2 on their season.
WTCA pre-game show at 6:20p on AM1050 & am1050.com.