By Rusty Nixon
PLYMOUTH – The Blueberry celebration started early for Plymouth’s Rockies as they survived their first NLC test of the season with a solid 17-10 win over Warsaw at the Rockpile.
It was an early season measuring stick game for the Rockies against the talented Tigers and in the Plymouth head coaches mind his team measured up admirably.
“I feel great about where we are,” said John Barron. “We made plays in every facet of the game, our offense, our kicking game, our offense and defense both played tremendously. I hope our kids understand how good a football team we have. “
“We played smart tonight. Defensively we were able to keep them in front of us and we were able to play the run with basically five guys. We got a lot of help from our young outside linebackers but just the way that (Caleb) Koss, (Colten) Schuler and (Jeremy) Drudge roamed around out there and our corners, to hold those guys to just one touchdown they did the things they had to do to win a game.”
The Tigers game into the game averaging 35 points a game, the Plymouth defense held them to ten and maybe more importantly held the Tigers outstanding senior quarterback Michael Jensen to just 114 passing yards on 11 of 24 from the air.
“You see the athleticism and (Michael) Jensen is in control of that offense,” said Barron. “He can throw the ball down the field, he’s tall, he’s got good vision and patience and it was important to keep those guys in front of us. A lot of that had to do with our kids, our outside linebackers got underneath routes and took some of the vision and throwing alleys away from him. That was key.”
On the offensive side Plymouth sophomore quarterback Cole Filson was up to the task in his second start throwing for 44 yards and running for 32 more and a touchdown.
“Our offense did what we had to do to win a game, that long drive after they kicked the field goal – you talk about those things as a coach but you never know if they’re getting it and they were getting it tonight,” said Barron.
“Cole (Filson) played in a big game tonight, I’m proud of him he obviously played well tonight, and I think he really took a big step forward tonight. And you can’t say enough about (Tristen) McMillen. He’s so low to the ground he runs so hard and his feet are always moving. Our offensive line was really good tonight. You can’t do what we did without them owning the line of scrimmage when we needed to.”
McMillen ended the night 134 yards rushing on 25 carries. Dylan Pavey had his first two catches of the season both of them for crucial first downs on scoring drives.
“I’m just so happy and proud for our kids to be able to enjoy this weekend,” said Barron. “It’s such a big thing in Plymouth and we want the kids to have fun too, it’s just a little bit better when you get that win on Friday night.”
The Rockies (2-1) hit the road again this week with a game at Northridge.
Score by Quarters
Plymouth 7 3 0 7 – 17
Warsaw 0 7 3 0 – 10
P – Cole Filson 1 Yd Run (Jeremy Drudge Kick)
W – D’Andre Street 19 Yd Pass From Michael Jensen (Andrew Mevis Kick)
P – Jeremy Drudge 27 Yd field goal
W – Andrew Mevis 41 Yd field goal
P – Colten Schuler 7 Yd Run (Jeremy Drudge Kick)
Rushing – (Warsaw 31-119) McGarvey 19-89, Jensen 6-22, Faas 3-7. Plymouth (50-253) McMillen 25-134, B. Nixon 8-46, Filson 9-32.
Passing – Jensen 11-24 114 TD. Filson 3-9 44, INT.
Receiving – David 4-45, D. Street 4-39 TD. Pavey 2-26, B. Nixon 1-18.
Tackles – Schuler 10.