GOSHEN – It was a new look on offense for a third straight week and while some of the results were good, the outcome was not, as Plymouth fell in a defensive slug fest at Goshen 7-2.
The game came down to two plays – an 83-yard touchdown catch by Goshen’s Rummel Johnson on the third play of the game, and then Plymouth unable to get what might have been a tying or winning score on the last drive of the game with fourth-and-goal at the 2-yard line with eight seconds to play.
“We haven’t been able to find a way to win the past two weeks, and have played well enough to win,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “It wasn’t from a lack of effort. They caught us early on a seam route; we missed a tackle and that kid has speed. That’s the only negative play we had on defense. Our defense was outstanding.”
He added, “They got some penetration on the goal line on one of our base plays and they kept us out.”
Plymouth came out in the double tight end three back “T” formation that served them so well not that many years ago. While Tristen McMillen had a breakout night with 148 yards on 45 carries and the Rockies rushed for 229 yards as a team, but they could not push across a score. What they did do was manhandle the clock going on long drives and keeping the potent Goshen offense off the field.
“We challenged some kids to some new schemes and we moved a couple kids around up front,” said Barron. “Not having (Michael) Ebert hurt us, but the guys who played tonight played very well. We missed some opportunities on the pass plays tonight all and all I’m proud of our kids.”
Goshen seemed unfazed as they were able to turn the Rockies away time and again.
“I told our kids I was proud of them after the game,” said Goshen head coach Kyle Park. “They (Plymouth) had those long drives all night long and our guys would bend over and over but they never broke.”
Goshen had troubles of its own with an inspired Plymouth defense that held the Red Hawk offense to just 23 yards passing and 28 yards rushing after the big pass play early.
“We knew coming in that they were pretty good on defense,” said Park. “They make it very hard for you to run the football some of the things they do and they way they come crashing down on you but they play a lot of single coverage. C.J. threw the ball where we wanted, our guys were blocking giving him some time, we just didn’t make plays the way we have to.”
“Our down guys were outstanding tonight,” said Barron of his defensive front. “They did a great job keeping their shoulders square and allowing our linebackers to have a great game and I felt that (Caleb) Koss and (Ezra) Winkle were great. Reed had a great game; I don’t think (Nate) LaFree came off the field maybe for two plays. Other than one play, our secondary was outstanding. Our defense had a great game.”
Plymouth is 4-4 and comes back to the Rockpile next Friday night to square off with NorthWood; also Plymouth’s homecoming. Goshen is now 6-2 and will take on Wawasee.
Score by Quarters
Plymouth 0 0 0 2 – 2
Goshen 7 0 0 0 – 7
G – TD Rummel Johnson 83 yards from C.J. Detweiler (Charlie Collins Kick)
P – Safety
Rushing – (Plymouth 68-229) McMillen 45-148, B. Nixon 12-54, Bennitt 4-19, Winkle 4-8. (Goshen 13-29) Stoll 10-28, Back 1-0.
Passing – Filson 1-7 3 yds, INT. Detwiler 5-14 110 TD.
Tackles – LaFree 4.