Middlebury- The Northridge Raider football program has had NO LUCK against the Plymouth Rockies in the past 10 years, 1-9 during that tenure. On Friday night, they were one quarter away from changing their luck, but Plymouth held on for a 14-13 victory to improve to 4-0 on the season, winning their 16th consecutive NLC match.
“I told my kids they were going to be in a dog fight tonight against the Raiders. They held us to our lowest point total last year, other than Lowell.”, said Coach John Barron. “They throw that 3-3 stack or 3-5 look defensively at us every year to stop our running game, and they almost did, winning every stat last night but the one that counted!”
The Rockies were outrushed by 8 yards, the Raiders had 27 more passing yards, a total of 35 more total yards than Plymouth. Northridge had just under 6 minutes more of possession time than the Rockies by games end.
“Not exactly the stats I wanna see, but they way Northridge was playing, those numbers are not that suprising. Honestly, Northridge is going to pull off an upset of someone big in our conference this year. Just wait. They have the capability.”, said Barron.
It was a game of big plays for Plymouth. Most notably a blocked extra-point attempt by Rockie Superman, Brock Smith on Ben Bencsics attempt to tie the game at 14.
“Brock has been everything for us this season. It’s his senior year, it’s his time, and he’s proving to everyone it’s going to be tough to keep him from making a difference in a ballgame. He may have been held down offensively, and struggled defensively…..but he didn’t quit. It was a great play by a great kid!”, added Barron.
That extra-point block came off the heels of a Raider two play-28 yard touchdown drive resulting in Tyler Priem hitting pay dirt to cut the Rockie lead to one, 14-13.
In a move that left a lot of Raider fans scratching their heads, Coach Jonathon Kirkton elected to go for the tie instead of the win by going for the extra-point. “I was happy to see Jonathon make that decesion because we had NO answer all night long for their running game.”, said Barron.
That conservative decesion proved to be a big one, as Smith’s block sealed the win for the Rockies.
“That was a big play no doubt. But how about Houston Hodges Interception at the one yard line in the first half? If Northridge scores there, we lose by games end. Another big play was our second touchdown drive in the late third quarter. It was a 14 play-58 yard drive led by the hard running of Senior Ryne England.”, commented Barron.
“This was another team win. Everyone contributed at key times. At the same time we didn’t play consistant football throughout the ballgame, but as I said, Northridge is real good and they always give us fits every year. We need to shore up some things before we see Memorial next week.”, added Barron.
Join WTCA this Friday night at 6:20p with the Pre-Game show, 7:30p kick-off from The Rock. Tony Ross, Larry Faulstich and Scott Masters bring you all the action.