PLYMOUTH — If you are a football fan it was an incredibly entertaining classic. If you are a Plymouth Rockie fan it was just a heartbreaking defeat as East Noble made one more play in the game than Plymouth and took away a 34-31 win.
“I feel like we kind of let that one go ourselves. We made a lot of mistakes defensively,” said Plymouth head coach John Barron. “Give them credit they have a really good football team and they have a really good quarterback.”
“We have to find a way to win those games.”
With the Knights all state candidate at quarterback — Bailey Parker — the Rockie defense knew it would be a tough night. But it wasn’t Parker’s arm that caused the trouble, it was his legs.
Parker ran the ball 21 times for 203 yards with three touchdown runs, one from 47 yards and one possession later one of 42 yards. He capped his night with the touchdown that would give East Noble their first lead of the night with 1:08 to play.
“I never anticipated that they would run the football that effectively against our front,” said Barron. “We had lots of chances to win. We did a lot of good things but you can’t give up that many points and expect to win a football game.”
“They do enough stuff in the backfield so that you have to play their other weapons too. Their receivers were explosive guys, we could see it on film,” said Barron. “I thought we did a pretty good job with the ball in the air, but the quarterback run was huge.”
“We got caught in some stunts that we didn’t execute very well,” he said. “We tried some things but we couldn’t make tackles.”
Plymouth had plenty of bright spots of their own with Kam Vanlue carrying the ball 31 times for 161 yards and a touchdown. Joe Barron hit on 19 of 35 passing attempts for 330 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
“Vanlue ran the ball very hard which means that our offensive line was doing some very good things,” said Barron. “With Reichard and Schrameyer on the outside we know that if Joe can get it to them they’ll make some plays. Joe’s decision making was a lot better than a year ago.”
After the fourth quarter heroics of Parker and the Knights, Plymouth had some heroics of their own taking the ball at their own 35 and marching to within four yards of punching across the tying score in just a little more than 30 seconds.
With just :05 on the clock East Noble sent a blitz that killed the timing on a hand off, forced a fumble, and gave them the game.
“We had a chance at the end but they made some plays and showed some pretty good character at the end,” said Barron. “We were going for the win and not the tie. When you get it down there on the two yard line you feel like you can punch it in.”
The Rockies (0-1) take on Kokomo at home next week.
•EAST NOBLE 34, PLYMOUTH 31
East Noble 0 14 7 13 — 34
Plymouth 7 17 0 7 — 31 Record: (0-1)
05:46 PLYM — Jake Reichard 23 yd pass from Joe Barron (Adrian Cardona kick).
11:04 PLYM — Garrett Schrameyer 45 yd pass from Joe Barron (Oscar Mendoza kick).
09:21 ENOB — Parker 47 yd run (Painter kick).04:28 ENOB — Parker 42 yd run (Painter kick).
01:49 PLYM - Adrian Cardona 28 yd field goal.
01:02 PLYM - Kameron Vanlue 4 yd run (Oscar Mendoza kick).
02:39 ENOB — Emsberger 6 yd pass from Parker (Painter kick)
11:51 PLYM — Ivan Winkle 30 yd pass from Joe Barron (Adrian Cardona kick)
08:17 ENOB — Jones 15 yd pass from Parker (Painter kick)
01:08 ENOB — Parker 1 yd run (Painter kick failed).
RUSHING: East Noble-Parker 21-203, Marcellus 11-49, Malott 5-29, Christian 1-5,
VanGorder 1-1. Plymouth-Kameron Vanlue 31-161, Ivan Winkle 1-2, Joe Barron 5-1.
PASSING: East Noble-Parker 15-26-1-157. Plymouth-Joe Barron 19-35-0-330.
RECEIVING: East Noble-Jones 7-91, Emsberger 6-52, Marcellus 1-10, Malott 1-4.
Plymouth-Jake Reichard 8-98, Garr Schrameyer 7-138, Ivan Winkle 2-51, Joe Barron
1-23, Joe Styers 1-20.
INTERCEPTIONS: East Noble-None. Plymouth-Dylan Gamble 1.
TACKLES: Nicholas Craft 7-1, Daniel Bacon 5-1, Zephan Nixon 4-2, Korey Kopetski
4-1, Taylor Judd 4-0.