PLYMOUTH — Adjusting has been the story of the year defensively at Plymouth.
A group of NLC quarterbacks — all with unique skills — have tested the Rockies and shown a metamorphosis of the game of football even at the high school level. From the pro’s on down, the quarterback position is at a premium.
“I think the quarterback position has always been important,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “Now offenses spread you out, and it’s sort of the evolution of the game. You’re not going to see a lot of sit-in-the pocket, drop-back passers anymore. You have to be able to run. The way things are designed a lot of teams put their best athlete back there and let them go.”
Goshen’s Cameron Kline and Concord’s Trevor Wilmore are a case in point on Plymouth’s schedule the past two weeks. Each ran up big numbers — especially running the football — and in the case of the Minutemen put up lot’s of points.
“The thing that (Kline) was doing last week and (Wilmore) was doing the week before — that’s all made up,” said Barron. “There’s no blocking scheme for that, no designed play, it’s just them being athletic. You can defend that if you can stay in zone coverage all night but you have to send some pressure sometime and you have to play some man and they’ve been catching us in man coverage. We talk about pursuit angles but really those aren’t the same anymore because of how they spread you out.”
“I know we’ve given up points, but I like our defense. They play hard, and they’re getting better.”
The Rockies defense will have another tough assignment, adjusting to a traditional offense at NorthWood.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a tight end and two running backs on the field,” said Barron. “And a quarterback under center. We haven’t seen that in five weeks.”
While the set may be different, the attack is a similar one to Plymouth’s.
“This is a team that runs a lot and they run a lot of option,” said Barron. “It’s out of a different set but it’s a lot of what we do. The option gets your attention. (Quarterback) Will Kirkwood is a good athlete, and he understands what they want to do. Tanner Cleveland is a tough kid and broke some big runs on us the last time.
“It’s NorthWood. It’s week nine. It’s at Jim Andrews Field. It’s important.”