PLYMOUTH – It was a good old fashioned beating for Plymouth’s Rockies as they took a 35-6 loss on their home field at the hands of NLC rival Concord.
Early fight turned into frustration as a team that has faced so much in the past two weeks faced their first regular season loss since Wawasee in 2013. In the end it was the home run capability of the Concord offense that would be the undoing.
“I thought our defense played well,” said Plymouth coach John Barron. “I know the scoreboard says we gave up a lot of points but we didn’t help them any either. We gave some short fields and both their long throws were on third downs and they just executed very well.”
While the defense dealt with the Concord athleticism, the offense dealt with their own problems as long drives again and again were turned away by the Minuteman defense.
“I don’t know how many possessions we had in the first half but we got in zero rhythm offensively,” said Barron. “The more we punted the ball or gave the ball up on fourth down the more frustrated our kids got and we haven’t seen that in a really, really long time.”
A big reason for that was simply and inspired effort by the Concord defense.
“I was impressed with the way that they tackled,” said Barron. “A lot of one on one tackling – where you’ve seen some of our guys get away from tacklers in the past they were sure tacklers. They did a nice job with their scheme defensively but we just didn’t have a lot of fight on our side of the ball offensively.
“They had really good closing speed. Typically when you play a team that can run the way Concord can you want to get the ball going north and south. When they push you out sideline to sideline that doesn’t bode well for us. Their perimeter players were really good. They got off blocks really quickly and they tackled really well.”
In a game of negatives a positive theme recurred for the third straight game as Terrance Hooten continues to develop as a threat in the Plymouth offense. Hooten had five catches for 64 yards and added a pair of carries for 16 yards rushing.
“It was nice to see him make some plays and get more involved with the offense and we really needed him to,” said Barron. “We tried to run our base plays time and time again and we came up short time and time again. He’s a player that everybody can count on and rely on. You’re going to get the same effort from him every time.”
“The good news is we’re going to practice again tomorrow – it’s not the end of the season. Our kids have to learn to get up off the mat and fight back.”
Plymouth is 6-1 (4-1) with a game at home with Goshen next week. Concord stands at 5-2 (5-0) and plays at home against Northridge.
Score by Quarters
Concord 0 14 7 14 – 35
Plymouth 0 0 0 6 – 6
C – Avis Emmons 5 Yd Run (Josh Gorball Kick)
C – Cedric Mitchell 53 Yd Pass From Jason Grooms (Josh Gorball Kick)
C – Josh Emerson 80 Yd Pass From Jason Grooms (Josh Gorball Kick)
C – Avis Emmons 2 Yd Run (Josh Gorball Kick) 0 28
C – Juchaun Fox 47 Yd Interception Return (Josh Gorball Kick)
P – Cam Eveland 3 Yd Run (Failed Two-Point Conversion)
Rushing – (Plymouth) J. Barron 27-71, C. Eveland 12-34, T. McMillen 9-33, T. Hooten 2-16. Concord A. Emmons 14-65, J. Emerson 3-3, J. Grooms 3 -10, D. DeBroka 1-11, C. Mitchell 1-9.
Passing – J. Barron 10-22, 116 yds. 4 INT., J. Grooms 7-14, 169 yds. 2 TD.
Receiving – (Plymouth) T. Hooten 5-64, C. Eveland 5-22. (Concord) J. Emerson 4-116 TD, C. Mitchell 2-50.
Tackles – M. Friar 8, J. Fox 7.