PLYMOUTH – What a difference three weeks makes. Plymouth’s Rockies came back from a forced “vacation” to put together a masterful performance in taking a 36-20 win over New Prairie to extend their playoff lives and set up a date with CMA for next Friday. “I’m so happy for the kids,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “We’ve had so many injuries, we’ve lost so many of our key players, and we kept telling them all year long just hang in there and let’s see if we can get things right.” “I’ve had a lot of reporters ask me this week if I’m worried about our guys having three weeks off but I wasn’t because we practiced so well for the two weeks that we were off,” said Barron. “Our seniors led that and our young guys gave a great effort running the scout team. I’m very proud of them.” There was a lot to be proud of for the Rockies. They dominated the game from the moment they took the opening kickoff. The first drive of the night for Plymouth was a 10:30 masterpiece that survived two penalties and two bad snaps and ended in a field goal. At the end of the night, the Rockies had an astonishing 35 minute to 12-minute advantage in time of possession. The Rockies ran 70 plays to New Prairie’s 38. “That was by design,” said Barron. “When you run the ball as well as we are and you can sprinkle in (Devante) Garcia, Jake (Reichard) has such a strong arm that even when he’s out of the pocket he can see people down the field.” “(Quentin) Crawford ran the ball hard,” he said. “(Colin) Mills ran the ball hard and that takes some of the pressure off Jake.” Reichard had a huge night accounting for over 200 yards (161 rushing, 106 passing) of the Plymouth total of 339. Garcia caught three balls for 43 yards. Maybe the biggest change was adding a fifth man on the defensive line, adding running back Adrial Lester at nose, that appeared to take the Cougars by surprise. “We put Lester at nose he’s an athletic kid,” said Barron. “He’s a running back. They are a 90 percent running team and we just wanted to give our kids a chance and our ends a chance so they wouldn’t get double-teamed, give our linebackers a chance, give our safeties a chance to come downhill and make some tackles.” The Plymouth defense took New Prairie’s 1100 yard running back Noah Mungia out of the game. He ended the night with minus six yards rushing. Barron had plenty of praise to go around for his fellow coaches, who had the responsibility of the team while he and offensive coordinator Mike Kershner were sidelined with COVID-19. “I’m so proud of our staff they kept our program together for 10 days when I wasn’t around and Mike wasn’t around,” said Barron. “Those guys did an incredible job that entire week. My hat is off to our assistant coaches. I’m thankful for them.” And the Rockies are all thankful for another win and a chance to play another game. Plymouth (2-5) will be home for a round two match up with Culver Academy (4-5) on Friday. •PLYMOUTH 36, NEW PRAIRIE 20 at Plymouth New Prairie 0 6 0 14 – 20 Plymouth 3 21 6 6 – 36 Scoring Summary: 1st Quarter 02:14 P — Cardona 29 yd field goal. 2nd Quarter 09:05 P — Reichard 2 yd run (Cardona,Adrian kick). 08:26 P — Reichard 1 yd run (Cardona,Adrian kick). 06:49 NP — Siford 44 yd run (Chalik kick failed) 01:25 P — Reichard 3 yd run (Cardona kick). 3rd Quarter 02:04 P — Reichard 2 yd run. 4th Quarter 11:55 NP — Siford 17 yd run (Kmiecik pass failed). 09:02 NP — Siford 8 yd run (Skornog rush) 03:40 P — Garcia,Devante 25 yd run (Cardona,Adrian kick failed). RUSHING: New Prairie-Siford 10-155; Kmiecik 5-52; Skornog 6-38; Mungia 6-minus 9; Fronk 1-minus 13. Plymouth-Reichard 49-161; Crawford 8-36; Mills 4-11; Garcia 0-25. PASSING: New Prairie-Kmiecik 2-9-1-11; Skornog 0-1-0-0. Plymouth-Reichard 6-9-0-106. RECEIVING: New Prairie-Gazarkiewicz 1-14; Skornog 1-minus 3. Plymouth-Garcia 3-43; Sheely 1-25; Crawford 1-22; Mills 1-16. INTERCEPTIONS: New Prairie-None. Plymouth Garcia 1-18. FUMBLES: New Prairie-Skornog 2-2. Plymouth-Reichard 3-0.