“It’s especially hard to lose the way we did after they fought back so hard,” said Plymouth coach John Barron of his team. “Seeing those guys go when they had battled so hard that group (of seniors) was much better than that record.”
A game that looked as if the Knights would run away with early turned into a chess match that hinged on virtually the final play of the game.
With the ball at the five and the Rockies trailing with under a minute to play, Benji Nixon took the ball on a toss right. The play broke down almost instantly, but somehow the Plymouth wing got just enough blocks and by sheer force of will found a way to twist, turn and stretch himself into the end zone for six.
Plymouth’s decision was to go for two and the win, East Noble made a huge defensive stand and came away with the victory.
“We were going to go left to Benji if we have even numbers or more numbers and they loaded up with seven on six,” said Barron of the play call. “I need to look at film but with the look they gave us we put Benji in motion he should be one on one. We got slowed down on the snap and we couldn’t attack the edge and by that time their pressure was there and Cole just had to do what he could do.”
“You take a risk and that’s why I feel the way I feel,” said Barron. “I take responsibility it was my decision. It’s a play we run in practice all the time and in games over the years. We went for it. We didn’t execute it.”
It was a tough end to what might have been a storybook night for the Rockies as Division One recruit Andrew McCormick looked as if he would have his way single handedly leading his team to a win. Taking the opening kickoff and going on a long methodical drive the Knights scored first and looked dominant doing it.
Somehow things changed.
“Tonight we tried to contain their quarterback, tried to mix some things up on the edge,” said Barron. “We finally decided we were going to play man coverage and send the house and that’s when we had some success.”
“As soon as we settled in our defense played phenomenal, our offense really started to roll,” said Barron. “I think it was the best game I’ve seen Cole Filson play. I think he managed the game very well. We ask him to do a lot. The end of the game was what our season was. You see Benji give an unbelievable effort to get into the end zone and then my decision to go for two and lose it. I feel bad for our kids.”
While East Noble controlled the ball for most of the first half a renewed effort in the second turned the momentum in the Rockies favor.
“We went into the game thinking that we could get into some heavier sets,” said Barron. “We brought Andrew Himes in as an extra lineman and took out a split end and they just brought more people down inside and I think that was confusing our kids up front. We decided at halftime to just do what we do which is triple option and that’s when you saw Blake Reed get some good yardage and Cole have some great reads.”
“They can put up big numbers in a hurry because the quarterback can run it and throw it,” said Barron. “Once we settled in and got more aggressive we were able to get to McCormick and hit him a few times and rattled him a bit and that set up that last drive.”
Plymouth ends their season at 6-4. East Noble moves to round two to take on CMA next week.
Score by Quarter
Plymouth 0 0 7 6 – 13
East Noble 7 0 7 0 – 14
EN – Andrew McCormick 1 Yd Run (Alain Pfammatter Kick)
EN – 8 Yd Pass From Andrew McCormick to Griffon Daffron-Koebler (Alain Pfammatter Kick)
P – Cole Filson 1 Yd Run (Sam Tanner Kick)
P – Benji Nixon 5 Yd Run (Failed Two-Point Conversion)
Rushing – (Plymouth 45 carries 212 yards) Reed 12-69, Nixon 17-69 TD, Filson 11-54, Bennitt 3-20. (East Noble 32 carries 77 yards) Harshberger 6-31, Hile 10-27, McCormick 13-7, Daffron-Koebler 5-7, Ellert 1-0.
Passing – Filson 2-3 14 yds. INT, McCormick 16-23 165 yds. TD.
Receiving – Nixon 1-12, Hayden Jones 10-87.
Tackles – Nate LaFree 10.