PLYMOUTH – A week of reflection wasn’t altogether a bad thing for Plymouth’s Rockies. A loss to end the year at the hands of NorthWood had Plymouth reeling but time has allowed the team to address some issues.
“A big question has been how much you go back and look at NorthWood,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “There were times that we played really poorly, there were other times we played really great. We’ve had a different kind of week with fall break and all the time off, we’ve been able to look at some things, let our position coaches go over some of it and then just let it go.
“The important thing was that we didn’t get out of the gate early in either half (vs. NorthWood). They took the ball right down the field after the kickoff and scored and we get it the second half and go three and out. It wasn’t good on either side of the ball.”
Just what was at the root of the problem was a cause for concern but one that Barron and his staff have had time to look at.
“I think it’s taken some time to figure out our chemistry. We’ve tried lots of different things and really we’ve kind of been through it all this year,” said Barron. “I’m a chemistry guy. When it comes down to it I don’t believe it’s all x’s and o’s. I believe in relationships and I believe in the physicality of the game. If our kids believe in one another and they go out and are physical we have a chance to win every Friday night.
“We’ve been through it all and honestly I’m proud of the way our kids have handled it.”
They will have to handle an opponent that gave them moments of concern at the end of the toughest week Plymouth football has had. The second time around will be different in many ways.
“We really didn’t prepare for them at all the last time,” said Barron. “We tried but there was simply too much going on. It was impossible. They’ve put in a few wrinkles since we saw them last – defensively they’re pretty much the same.
“We have to stop their fullback from gutting us – simply put,” said Barron. “Their quarterback may get away a little, but we have to keep their fullback from hurting us. Our defense has been kind of a focal point the past couple days. We need to play with some passion with a little confidence.”
Offensively the Rockies have continued to evolve as well.
“Cam has become a big part of our offense and obviously we’d like to get a running game going,” said Barron. “We’ve got to get Jack back involved and whenever Nate (Nixon) touches the ball something good happens. We have to get him more touches on the outside. We’ve turned the ball over a little and honestly we’ve reached the point we can’t do that and expect to win.”
“We really need to play with some urgency, play with some passion on both sides of the ball. We need to get after it right away.”