DUNLAP — In a game that saw plenty of offense, it will be two defensive plays that are the talk of the town this week as Plymouth came away with an essential road win over Northern Lakes Conference foe Concord 31-28 Friday night.
After Plymouth quarterback Ike Kastner plunged over from 6 yards out at the 7:49 mark in the fourth quarter for what would prove to be the winning touchdown, it would take two big time defensive plays to preserve that win.
Concord took the ensuing kickoff back deep into Plymouth territory and with a fourth and ten at the Rockie 29 yard line, Ryan McKibben dropped to pass for what appeared to be six to wideout Dakota Simon. Plymouth defensive back Kyle Lacefield had other ideas. The Plymouth sophomore made an outstanding defensive stop, knocking the pass away at the last instant and turning the ball over to the Rockies.
“We had him (Lacefield) in there to shore up our run defense because he’s so physical,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “They’d had so much success running the ball on us we were hoping he’d help us out there and then he makes that kind of play on pass defense.”
The story of the game from the Concord side of the ball was the emergence of a powerful running attack led by substitute quarterback Trevor Wilmore and running back DuWhan Alford. The vaunted Minutemen passing offense took a back seat to a running game that overpowered the Rockies 42 times for 343 yards. Concord attempted only eight passes on the night.
“We knew we were going to have a rotation with (quarterbacks) Trevor (Wilmore) and Ryan (McKibben) because we really like what Trevor brings to us in the running game,” said Concord coach Tim Dawson. “We knew that Plymouth would spend a lot of time working on our passing game and I really think our offensive line did a great job. It was just a great high school football game. Both teams made big time plays all night long.”
“They were just so much more physical than we were on the outside,” said Barron of Concord’s ground game. “We felt like we could give them some space out there but they really took advantage of it and (Wilmore) did a great job.”
Alford finished the night with 201 yards rushing and Wilmore had another 152. Sam Stevens had 98 for the Rockies with a touchdown, Ike Kastner added 82 with two TD’s, Jeremy Drudge had some big key runs and ended the night with 64 but averaging 12 yards a carry.
After Plymouth went three and out on their possession with just 3:03 to play, the new found running attack of Alford and Wilmore took the Minutemen back to first and ten at the Plymouth 19 yard line. That’s when senior linebacker Ethan Sampson made the play of the night – a sack of Wilmore pushing Concord back to the 29 with just :16 to play. A 42 yard field goal attempt to tie was short and wide left.
It was the second bad field goal attempt for Concord as Deandre Pickford made a game changing play in the third quarter, blocking a 30 yard attempt and returning it another 40 yards to set up a Plymouth score.
“At that point in the game Deandre’s block was just huge,” said Barron. “That changed the whole momentum at that point in the game.”
Plymouth (5-2,4-1) has a key matchup on the road at Goshen next week.
• PLYMOUTH 31,
Score by Quarters
Plymouth 7 10 7 7 - 31
Concord 7 7 7 7 - 28
04:18 PLYM — Dakota Brooke 51 pass from Ike Kastner (Jacob Frantz kick)
04:03 CONC — Jerrell Pointdexter 89 yd kickoff return (Ryan Tepe kick)
09:40 PLYM — J. Frantz 30 yd field goal
09:14 CONC — DuWhan Alford 72 yd run (Tepe kick)
05:44 PLYM — I. Kastner 2 yd run (J. Frantz kick)
10:38 CONC — Trevor Wilmore 52 yd run (Tepe kick)
00:47 PLYM — S. Stevens 8 yd run (J. Frantz kick)
10:37 CONC — Wilmore 3 yd run (Tepe kick)
07:49 PLYM — I. Kastner 7 yd run (J. Frantz kick)
RUSHING: (Plymouth 51-260) Sam Stevens 19-98; Ike Kastner 24-82; Jeremy Drudge 5-64; Elliott Eads 3-16. (Concord 42-343) DuWhan Alford 21-201; Trevor Wilmore 19-152; Adam Glanders 1-4; Ryan McKibben 1-minus 14.
PASSING: Plymouth-I. Kastner 1-2-0-51. Concord-McKibben 2-6-0-39; Wilmore 1-2-0-12.
RECEIVING: Plymouth-Dakota Brooke 1-51. Concord- Adam Glanders 2-45; Dakota Simon 1-6.
SACKS: Plymouth-John Stillson 1; E. Sampson 1; AJ Howard 1. Concord-None.
TACKLES: Plymouth-Michael Garrity 12; Michael Hartman 7; Deandre Pickford 7; E. Sampson 8; Concord-Franko House 13; Dallas Maynard 11.