PLYMOUTH — A hard fought football game turned into a sort of street brawl as Plymouth got in the win column with a 41-20 win over Kokomo.
Three quarters of a very solid game turned a little chippy in the fourth quarter after a frightening injury to a Kokomo player who had to be taken from the field on a stretcher.
After several vicious hits and personal foul penalties for both teams cooler heads seemed to prevail, especially after a 91 yard kickoff return by Plymouth’s Ivan Winkle finally put it out of reach.
Plymouth’s defense that had great difficulty stopping the run in week one made a big turnaround in game two holding the WildKats to just 39 yards on the ground.
“The biggest change was on defense,” said Plymouth coach John Barron. “Not necessarily personnel but just getting back to some basic football with fronts and coverages. I just wanted our kids to settle in and play football and be coached by their position coaches. When you are stunting its hard to teach fundamentals.”
Also returning to the lineup — for the first half anyway — was senior Blake Davis who had an impact.
“We got Blake Davis back and played him a lot in the first half and that made a difference,” said Barron. “But I thought our guys upfront were solid and I think we settled on about six guys up there where we can get a run stop package in or a pass rush package in and focus on what their skill sets are.”
Offensively the Rockies continue to put points on the board and rolled up 500 yards of total offense spread evenly with 226 on the ground and 274 in the air. Davis in the first half had 103 yards rushing and Garret Schrameyer had 11 catches for 126 yards.
“We have a lot of weapons. We ran the ball very well,” said Barron. “I’m sick about Kam’s (Vanlue) injury, Blake came in until he got a little dinged up and then (Bradey) Pittman came in and ran like the other two.”
Plymouth lost Vanlue for what will likely be the season with a broken leg, and Davis was also forced to leave the game leaving sophomore Bradey Pittman to carry the load with 33 yards on six carries.
“Our offensive line continues to do a very good job,” said Barron. “They are talented and big and they understand really well what (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kershner) wants to do.”
“Protection was very good for Joe (Barron). When he gets clean windows it becomes very easy for him to play pitch and catch,” he said. “When you have two 6’3” guys on the outside (Schrameyer and Jake Reichard) who can also go over the top of you it becomes very hard to cover both of them.”
Plymouth is now 1-1 on the year and will take the road next Friday to take on Warsaw in what is also their first NLC game of the season.
•PLYMOUTH 41, KOKOMO 20
Kokomo 6 0 0 14 - 20
Plymouth 7 13 7 14 - 41 Scoring Summary: 1st Quarter
07:02 PLYM - Kameron Vanlue 2 yd run (Adrian Cardona kick). 06:47 KOKO - Wainscott 71 yd pass from Begne (Flores kick failed). 2nd Quarter
09:47 PLYM - Jake Reichard 1 yd pass from Joe Barron (Oscar Mendoza kick). 05:00 PLYM - Blake Davis 37 yd pass from Joe Barron (Adrian Cardona kick failed)
03:06 PLYM - Ivan Winkle 6 yd pass from Joe Barron (Adrian Cardona kick). 4th Quarter
07:26 PLYM - Jake Reichard 14 yd pass from Joe Barron (Adrian Cardona kick) 06:25 KOKO - Wainscott 54 yd pass from Begne (Begne pass failed) 06:11 PLYM - Ivan Winkle 91 yd kickoff return (Oscar Mendoza kick), , KOKO 12 - PLYM 41 03:40 KOKO - Stuckey 0 yd fumble recovery (Begne pass from Begne), , KOKO 20 - PLYM 41
RUSHING: Kokomo-Lawrence 1-18, Begne 6-10, Beard 2-5, Smith 1-4, Reed 6-3, Marciniak 2-minus 1. Plymouth-Blake Davis 13-103, Kameron Vanlue 9-55, BradleyPittman 6-33, Kwintin Heiny 5-32, Joe Barron 1-16, Ivan Winkle 1-2, Lennon Creighbaum 1-minus 15. PASSING: Kokomo-Begne 11-19-3-247, Beard 0-1-0-0. Plymouth-Joe Barron 24-45-0-274. RECEIVING: Kokomo-Wainscott 8-195, Ogelsby 1-30, Price 1-24, Smith 1-minus 2. Plymouth-Garr Schrameyer 11-126, Jake Reichard 5-50, Ivan Winkle 4-36, Joe Styers 3-25, Blake Davis 1-37. INTERCEPTIONS: Plymouth-Ivan Winkle 2-18, Arturo Valdez 1-0.