Rockies head to Goshen for key NLC contest

PLYMOUTH — Friday was fun, but it was only fun on Friday.
Plymouth’s Rockies returned to work after a big Northern Lakes Conference win on the road at Concord, probably as soon as the school song was over Friday night.
“The biggest thing you worry about after a big win is a letdown,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “We can’t be complacent. I guarantee we aren’t allowing it in practice.”
The biggest celebration for the Rockies was likely watching game film, and that even had a sense of purpose with it.
“We watched the film and the feeling I had from our team as we were doing it was that they felt we could play better,” said Barron. “A lot of that has to do with how good Concord is, but I think our kids felt like we could have done better. I think we are recognizing that we are a good football team and that we can get even better.”
A Plymouth defense that had allowed just six points in the last three games did give up 21 to the Minutemen but also forced mistakes and made big plays at crucial moments.
“I really feel that those bad snaps on first and goal have a lot to do with Deandre (Pickford) and the way he was harassing the center all night,” said Barron. “And the dual blitz — our kids executed that perfectly. We have linebackers that are getting really smart about what we want to do. You have to be able to stunt and (Ethan) Sampson has learned how to stunt.”
Another area where the Rockies know they will do better is the kick-off team. Short field given up on kickoffs has put the Plymouth defense in a tough position the past three games. The answer is a complicated one.
“It’s something we’ve been trying to address,” said Barron. “When you kick the ball deep there are a lot of parts to why something does or doesn’t work. There’s a reason those guys are back there to return — they are probably pretty good athletes that can run. We’ve said we need to keep the ball inside the 30 to start. If directional kicking solves the problem, it won’t hurt my feelings if we never kick deep again.”
Goshen has had a roller coaster ride of a season and comes in showing an offense that will be unique for the Rockies.
“They always have a tight end in the game, they run a lot of two back, they are in a pro traditional offense a lot,” said Barron. “We don’t see a lot of that. They show you multiple formation and a lot of iso and trap and they’ve always played good defense. (Goshen coach) Mike Cheviron is a good coach, and he has a good staff and we can’t just show up. We have to have no distractions.”
“It’s going to be a matter of execution and not being complacent. We have to be smart offensively and play the way we’re capable.”

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