Plymouth pulls out thriller in overtime

Seth Rundell takes in a score in overtime for the Rockies
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

As Halloween approaches one of the scariest costumes for opposing NLC football teams might be a Plymouth jersey with the number 18 on it.
It was another night for Plymouth slot back Seth Rundell to put in the scrap book as he scored three touchdowns in Plymouth’s overtime 29-28 win over Elkhart Memorial, including the game winner in overtime and the deciding two point conversion. He ended his night with 10 catches for 187 yards and added 40 more running the football on just three carries. Two of those carries decided the game.
With the game tied at 21 Memorial scored on their first overtime play and added the extra point. Not to be outdone, the Rockies gave the ball to Rundell on the jet sweep and he too scored on the first play in overtime.
Then the drama happened.
The Rockies went for the kick to tie, Memorial jumped offside putting the ball at the one and a half yard line. There was no indecision on the Plymouth sideline in going for the win after the penalty. A quick time out was called to make sure that everybody was on the same page.
“I wanted to be sure that Mike (Kershner) was okay with it and honestly and I wanted to hear from a senior leader, what they wanted to do,” said Plymouth coach John Barron. “I looked at Cole (Filson) and said ‘what do we do?’. He said go for two. You know what happened after that.”
They went for two.
“Cole is the kind of leader that I think when he says something like that everybody else on this team is on board ‘if he says let’s do it, let’s do it,’” said Barron.
Then the play call was the decision and a hand off to Blake Davis led to a second penalty as the Chargers stopped the run, but nearly turned Davis’ head completely around with a face mask call. The next play was obvious - another jet sweep to Rundell and the win.
“It’s what we’ve had to talk about over the years having to defend the jet sweep,” said Barron. “When you’re playing man coverage running across formations - you saw what happened. It’s what won the game for us.”
It was a game of extremes for the Plymouth offense as they ran up nearly 500 yards of offense for a second straight week, but this time the achilles heel was six turnovers in the game for the Rockies, five in the first half.
“We threw some balls up the field that we shouldn’t have thrown,” said Barron. “Unfortunately I think that’s what you are going to get right now with (quarterback) Joe (Barron). We had some underneath routes several times that we should have gone to. Cole (Filson) was open several times underneath. You get to the point where you have to realize we don’t need to score every time we throw the football.”
“They also did a good job of disguising their coverage,” said Barron. “They had times where they made it look like single coverage and then they bailed. They were well coached, well scouted, they probably knew we were going to take some pre-snap reads and throw it down the field and that’s what we did and they got there before we did.”
“They were very aggressive and I think what they were saying is that we were going to have to throw the ball to beat us,” said Barron. “Their edge players are really quick and they didn’t blow any assignments.”
Not in the end zone as often as Rundell, Blake Davis was another Rockie turning in an amazing performance on both sides of the ball. Davis turned in a sack as part of a night where he had seven tackles and spelling an injured Blake Reed at running back had five carries for 38 yards.
“He’s just a great football player,” said Barron. “I was was worried about him being tired at the end of the game he insisted he wasn’t and kept telling me to get him back in the game.”
“(Memorial head coach Scott Shaw) made the statement to me before the game that no opposing coach wants to hear,” said Barron. “He said ‘I like my team’ and you can see why. They play hard, they execute well, they play clean and he’s got some really good athletes over there.
Plymouth is now 3-2 and 2-1 in NLC play with a home game against Wawasee next week. Memorial falls to 1-4 and 1-3 in league play.

at Plymouth
Elkhart Memorial 0 6 0 15 7 - 28
Plymouth 7 7 0 7 8 - 29
Scoring Summary:
First Quarter
8:09 P - Seth Rundell 56 yd pass from Joe Barron (Dylan Gamble kick)
Second Quarter
11:55 P - Jacob Deacon 26 yd pass from Joe Barron (Dylan Gamble kick)
2:45 EM - Woods 20 yd run (Ploner kick failed)
4th Quarter
9:05 EM - Woods 4 yd run (Forester pass from Lehner)
6:12 P - Seth Rundell 6 yd pass from Joe Barron (Dylan Gamble kick)
1:01 EM - Woods 3 yd run (Ploner kick)
EM - Roby 10 yd pass from Lehner (Ploner kick)
P - Seth Rundell 10 yd run (Seth Rundell rush)
Rushing - (Elkhart Memorial 53 rushes for 221 yards) Woods 38-186, Lehner 10-21, Rost 1-20. Plymouth (24 rushes for 105 yards) Rundell 3-40, Davis 5-38, Reed 10-20, Barron 4-4, Cole Filson 2-3.
Passing - Elkhart Memorial Lehner 15-23 146 yards, INT, TD, Rost 0-1-0-0. Plymouth Barron 19-42 361 yards 5 INT, 3 TD.
Receiving - Elkhart Memorial-Forester 8-64, Roby 7-56, Mason 4-54, Woods 3-24. Plymouth - Rundell 10-187, Deacon 5-124, Schrameyer 3-47, Filson 1-3.
Tackles - Ezra Winkle 11, Blake Davis 7, Ivan Winkle 6.