Another furious finish, another NLC win for Rockies

Colin Mills and Ivan Winkle converge on a receiver.
By: 
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

A week of tinkering seems to have helped a Plymouth defense that was good enough to hold off Concord and take a wild 27-23 win on the road.
The Rockies shook off a very rough start - Jamyris Rice running the opening kickoff back for 90 yards and a touchdown putting Plymouth behind 7-0 with 13 seconds officially off the clock and actually posting negative yardage in the first quarter on offense.
It was the defense that has taken it's lumps throughout the course of the season that rose to the occasion and held off the Minutemen on three excellent first half opportunities, turning them away with a pair of field goals.
"That's been a team (the Plymouth defense) we've tried to concentrate on and move some people around but until you watch the film you don't literally know if it worked,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. "It looked like they were playing hard and playing fast and that's what you want. We haven't played an easy game yet but that's what you get in the NLC."
Plymouth made some personnel changes with Daniel Bacon and Colin Mills getting starts at linebacker and the return of Kam VanLue to the linebacking squad. Normally at linebacker Ezra Winkle moved to nose and the changes appeared to light a fire under the squad who made numerous big plays including a game sealing interception by Ivan Winkle on the final Concord drive.
Joe Styers and Blake Davis had huge nights getting constant pressure on Concord quarterbacks Ethan Cain and Carter Neveraski.
“We felt like if we stunted we could get to them,” said Barron. “We thought we were a little more athletic than them. They had some really good size but their quarterback came in a little gimpy and the kid that has been playing (Neveraski) is really a runner which you saw at the end there. Their kids hung in there and kept battling that's what usually happens when Plymouth plays Concord.”
Battle they did as the Rockies had a chance to break the game open with the ball inside the Concord 20 early in the fourth but were turned away with no points. Moments later Neveraski took it to the house on a 69 yard run that got Concord within one and five minutes later went ahead on a third Ariel DeLaPaz field goal.
The Plymouth offense lived on big play after big play - Blake Reed with touchdown runs of 80 and 55 yards and a 42 yard screen pass reception, Seth Rundell with a 71 yard pass reception and Cole Filson with a 40 yard kickoff return.
But none were bigger than the plays on the Rockies final drive. It started at around the 3:47 mark after a remarkable punt return by Seth Rundell of 31 yards set the offense up with great field position. On fourth and 10 Garrett Schrameyer made a his second cathc of the night and stretched for a drive saving first down. Joe Barron made a run up the middle for 17 yards and a first and goal at the five and then for good measure punched in the winning score with a pull and run on the next play.
“They were stunting a lot and he missed some throws,” Barron said of his quarterback’s play on the night. “I know he was missing some throws and I'm happy for him making the final play there. He's got a lot of decisions to make in this offense. There's a lot to read when the ball is snapped, and we’ve been wanting him to pull and run the ball more to take the pressure off the receivers.”
“We want to get the ball in our athletes hands and let them do things with it,” said Barron. “Rundell is a load to guard. He's so dangerous and so fun to watch. Schrameyer is always an option and Blake Reed was big again tonight. The good news is that we won and we are still in the drivers seat for the conference championship.”
Reed ended the night with 154 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. Rundell had six catches for 135 yards. Blake Davis had nine tackles, three for loss and a sack. Joe Styers had six tackles two for loss and a pair of sacks.
Plymouth moves to 5-2 on the year and plays at Goshen next week. Concord is now 3-4.
•PLYMOUTH 27, CONCORD 23
at Concord
Plymouth 0 14 7 6 - 27 Concord 7 6 0 10 - 23 Scoring Summary: First Quarter
11:47 C - Rice 85 yd kickoff return (DeLaPaz kick)
Second Quarter
8:40 C - DeLaPaz 47 yd field goal 8:27 P - Blake Reed 80 yd run (Dylan Gamble kick) 1:50 P - Jacob Deacon 17 yd pass from Joe Barron (Dylan Gamble kick) 00:00 C - DeLaPaz 36 yd field goal
Third Quarter
10:39 P - Blake Reed 55 yd run (Dylan Gamble kick)
Fourth Quarter
11:32 C - Neveraski 69 yd run (DeLaPaz kick) 06:47 C - DeLaPaz 25 yd field goal 00:34 P - Joe Barron 5 yd run (Seth Rundell rush failed) Rushing - (Plymouth 30 rushes for 195 yards) Blake Reed 15-154, Seth Rundell 5-17, Joe Barron 8-15, Cole Filson 2-9. (Concord 41 rushes for 213 yards) Neveraski 16-152, Sheppard 8-34, Rice 3-15, Welch 3-13, Cain 11-minus 1. Passing - Joe Barron 12 of 32 for 213 yards TD. Cain 7 of 20 for 48 yards INT, Neveraski 4-4 for 14 yards. Receiving - Seth Rundell 6-135, Garrett Schrameyer 3-22, Blake Reed 1-42, Jacob Deacon 1-17 Concord-Sheppard 6-33, James 2-22, Moore 2-6, Neveraski 1-1. SACKS (UA-A): Plymouth-Joe Styers 2, Collin Mills 1, Blake Davis 1. Concord-Lain 1, Arnold 1. Tackles - Blake Davis 9, Joe Styers 6

Category: