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Rockies hit the road in big NLC contest

September 26, 2018

Sims and PanzicaPLYMOUTH — Another hard fought win over Wawasee for Plymouth’s Rockies a week ago keeps them in the hunt for an NLC title.

“Any win in the NLC is a good win,” said Plymouth coach John Barron. “Any win with our schedule is a good win. I don’t think it’s physical with us. It’s all between the ears with us. We have good players. They are a group when they play we are really good. We’re trying to push all the right buttons. If we play hard good things will happen. If we play smart better things will happen.”
Defensively the Rockies have been looking for an identity.
“We are at the point now where defensively trying to find a mentality where we are a little stingier, some guys can get some trust in one another and hopefully we can settle in on some positions and get our guys running to the ball with some confidence,” said Barron. “We try to keep it as simple as possible where you teach formations and formation recognition and what our reads are.”
One of the basics is stopping the opponents running game.
“We have to stop the run,” said Barron. “We’ve given up a lot of yardage on the ground. That starts up front. Our guys up front have to be disciplined. We have to constantly be moving. It’s just basic football up front. When they do their job it makes the linebackers job a little easier. Our linebackers have to read and react. It can’t be read, read again because by that time you’re blocked. We have to communicate in the secondary keep the ball in front of us and if they catch it come up and make a hit. We’ve got guys who like to hit.”
“We just want to be sound,” said Barron. “We have good people. We have to trust each other and start playing more together as a team. It’s really more about our kids feeling confident going into a ball game.”
Offensively turnovers have been a concern.
“We are always concerned with turnovers,” said Barron. “No coach in any sport is going to like turnovers. We have a high volume of that and gotten away with it but I like our offense does. I like what our offense shows it can do. We have some explosive kids and it continues to get better.”
“They’ll (Concord)be stingy on defense. We just can’t put the ball in other people’s hands,” said Barron. “I would like to see (quarterback) Joe (Barron) run the football a little more. I think that would take some of the pressure off of trying to fit it into tight windows or throwing it over the top when they’re playing tight zone.
“Sooner or later he’s going to get the ball into (Garrett) Schrameyer’s hands and something good is going to happen,” said Barron. “I think we kind of took him (Schrameyer) out of the game a week ago. He’s an explosive kid, I don’t care who’s guarding him. (Seth) Rundell is an explosive kid but Concord isn’t going to let us run him on the jet sweep. (Craig) Koehler is too good a coach for that. So what can we do with him? We have to get Blake Reed involved. Concord will come after us. They are a good football team.”
It’s a game with big implications in the conference race. If the Rockies can win they stay on track to have at least a chance at a share of the conference title.
“It’s always a great game,” said Barron. “They are well coached. They have some explosive guys. It all goes through their quarterback (Carter Neveroski). He’s a two year starter. He likes to run the football and he can spin it.”
Game time is 7 p.m. at Concord High School.