PLYMOUTH – Plymouth’s Rockies will try their hand at being road warriors this week as they hit the long and dusty trail to DeKalb to take on the 5-5 Barons.
A week ago the friendly confines of the Rockpile were good to Plymouth as they ran up a record number of points in a playoff win over Wawasee.
“It was our most complete game since the tragedy we dealt with,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “Our defense was outstanding. There was really only one play that we didn’t execute exactly the way we wanted to on defense. Our offense had a consistent running game, a lot of people involved in the passing game and played really fast with a lot of confidence.”
That defense will have to come up big for a second week as DeKalb has numerous offensive weapons to cause concern.
“They have a 6’7” wide out (Will Chrisman) that was a state qualifier in the 200 – he is that tall and he is that fast,” said Barron. “He can do what he does at any time. One of the kids asked me how do you guard a 6-7 guy? and I said the same way you guard a 5-7 guy – you can’t change your technique – but if the ball is up in the air nobody but him is going to get it.
“To take him away you have to get to the quarterback (Harrison Price) and he’s a big kid too – 6-3 and he’s heady. He’s not afraid to tuck it and run it and whenever you face a running quarterback it adds a little bit of preparation for your defense. He scrambles really well so we’ll have to keep him in the pocket.”
“I think they are well coached. You can tell as soon as you start watching film if kids know what they are doing and his (Pete Kempf) kids know what they are doing,” said Barron. “Their line is huge. Their center (Wyatt Robinson) is over 300 pounds their right tackle (Bryce Samuelson) is 370 pounds. We have to utilize our speed against their size up front on both sides of the ball. They do some things that will challenge us with their schemes.”
DeKalb will also use the scouting report to come up with a scheme to keep the Rockies guessing on defense.
“They can run the football. They have a lot of formations,” said Barron. “They get into some interesting stuff, like what we do with extra points they’ll do some of that in the middle of the field. They get their running backs involved in the routes and that brings your linebackers into pass coverage. We’ll do whatever we can to keep those outside linebackers at the line of scrimmage, but sometimes they’ll formation us where they have to be removed.
“It’s going to take us some time – hopefully not to long – to get used to what they’re doing.”
“Defensively they have a really good linebacker – Steven LaLonde – he’s 200 pounds, runs well. He’s a hammer. He likes to hit.”
It is, however, still a simple game.
“At this time of year more than any other you have to be stingy,” said Barron. “We can’t let them run the football on us, we have to force them to throw it. We’ve got to get out of the gate and have a good start.”