DSC_1043ANGOLA – A lot of things came together for Plymouth’s Rockies on Friday night. They got their first win in the month of October, they got their first road win since week two and it just happened to be in round one of sectional action at Angola –a 26-23 final in a wild finish.

“I feel like the monkey’s off our back, we got the win, we got a road win, we beat a 7-2 team, and we really did it with all parts of our team, special teams, offense and defense,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “It’s nice to hear the kids laugh and smile for a change and enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

You would not have guessed at the excitement of the second half judging from the games first half. While Plymouth had no end of trouble with the seemingly simple snap from the center to the quarterback, Angola couldn’t seem to stay onside.

The ultimate frustration for both was early when the Rockies fumbled at the two, Angola recovered for first and goal, and had to settle for a field goal after three illegal procedure penalties killed a prime opportunity.

“I don’t know what was going on with the center/quarterback exchanges early,” said
Baron. “It’s frustrating to lose a down like that but we figured it out, made some plays and moved on.”

They moved on with a 72 yard touchdown run by Tristen McMillen to take the lead right back, but then squandered some opportunities of their own leading at half 16-9.

The second half turned into a game with Angola taking the opening kickoff on a 65 yard touchdown drive to tie it and figuring out the Rockie running game defensively.

“It turned into a really good football game – really worth the price of admission,” said Barron. “They are really well coached and they do a lot of things offensively. I thought our run defense was outstanding (the Rockies held Angola to -39 yards), but then they got us on a couple of big plays. When you run against spread teams it’s hard to play straight zone because of all the people they take out of the backfield so the crossing routes got us a couple times, we didn’t tackle some people in the open field.

“Our guys are aggressive and they make aggressive mistakes. It drives you crazy but hats off to them (Angola) they hung in there and made some plays at the end and made it really exciting.”

The Hornets found the passing attack hitting on big plays and finally hitting a home run on a Chance Roddy pass to Jarret Gibson to take a 23-19 lead. Lightening struck again on the ensuing kick off as Colten Schuler instantly put the Rockies back in the lead with a 72 yard kickoff return and a 29-23 lead that would stand up.

“The condition on the field may have hurt us a little, our kids couldn’t really get a push and they really had a lot of bodies up there on defense,” said Barron. “ I thought Filson made some plays tonight. We talked about that before the game that he would have to make some plays and he did.”

While Schuler’s return would stand, it was two huge sacks by sophomore linebacker Ezra Winkle on the Hornets final drive that would not only stop a first and ten at the 11 yard line with under a minute but push Angola all the way back to the 35 yard line, well out of range for a tying field goal try.

“Our outside linebackers played great our guys up front played great, we finally got some pressure (on the quarterback),” said Barron. “(Noah) Pesak was huge on the outside,  We like that kickoff return, you see what Schuler can do with his speed out there, if they keep kicking it that way we’re going to keep trying to break one. We almost did last week and we got one tonight.”

Plymouth is now .500 at 5-5 on the year and will come back to the Rockpile to take on East Noble in round two of sectional action Friday night.

Score by Quarters

Plymouth  8  8  0  10 – 26

Angola  3  6  7  7 – 23
Scoring Summary

First Quarter

A – FG 31 Yd Eric Cockroft

P – TD Tristen McMillen 72 Yd Run (Benji Nixon Run For Two-Point Conversion)


P – TD 10 Yd Pass From Cole Filson (Benji Nixon Run For Two-Point Conversion)

A – TD Jarrett Gibson 46 Yd Pass From Chance Roddy (Kick No Good)

Third Quarter

A – TD Jarret Schultz 29 Yd Pass From Chance Roddy (Kick)

Fourth Quarter

P – FG Jeremy Drudge 25 Yd

A – TD Jarrett Gibson 22 Yd Pass From Chance Roddy (Kick)

P – TD Colten Schuler 87 Yd Kickoff Return (Jeremy Drudge Kick)

Rushing – (Plymouth 61-223) McMillen 30-152, B. Nixon 11-35, Bennitt 7-10, Filson 4-21. (Angola 20-39) McCurdy 6-3, Brandt 3-0, Hart 1- -5, Gibson 5- -10, Roddy 4- -27,

Passing – Filson 3-5, 46 yards TD, Roddy 13-31, 241 yards 3TD’s, INT.

Receiving – S. Miller 6-109 TD, Gibson 2-77 TD, Schultz 3-59, McCurdy 3-34. N. Nixon 2-26, D. Pavey 2-18 TD.

Tackles – Drudge 7, Winkle 5, 2 sacks, FUM. REC.