It was another chilly night for Indiana High School Post-Season football. But weather was never a factor in a rematch of two ranked teams in Class 4A Sectional 18 at the Rockpile. The 8th ranked New Prairie Cougars where well aware that revenge was on the 3rd ranked Plymouth Rockies mind after last years 42-21 loss in last years Sectionals. In the end the visitors prevailed as New Prairie took advantage of a couple of mistakes to hold on to a 37-35 win in Plymouth.
It was really one of the best played games between two opponents who wanted a Sectional crown. Both teams traded scoring jabs, New Prairie first, when they hit pay dirt on a 3 play drive that chewed up 80 yds 52 seconds into the contest for a 7-0 lead.
Plymouth answered back on their first drive that took 10 plays and 74 yards which included a two big receptions by Cam Eveland (38 yards) and Justin Drudge (29 yards) and ended in a one arm 14 yard touchdown reception by Cam Eveland, plus, a two point conversion to Drudge giving Plymouth an 8-7 lead.
New Prairie's third possession was capped off by a hurdling Tyler Weller 45 yard touchdown run to make the score 13-8 Cougars.
15 seconds later off the New Prairie kickoff, Plymouth returnman, Justin Drudge slid by several tackles to go 89 yards for a Plymouth score in span of 15 seconds, giving the hometeam the lead again 16-13.
Oh no....the BIG PLAYS didn't stop there. The Cougars next possession was just one play on a 75 yard Tyler Weller touchdown run giving the Cougars a lead they would never relinquish from that point on at 21-16.
New Prairie's defense stopped two Plymouth possessions while the offense scored on their two possessions. The Cougars made it 28-16 off an 11 play drive. Then the defense stopped Plymouth on a 4th down and one attempt at the Plymouth 16 yard line. That decision to go for it, proved costly for Plymouth as New Prairie scored to build a 35-16 lead just before halftime.
At the start of the 2nd half, Plymouth went 4 and out. New Prairie faired no better on their first possession of the 2nd half, doing the same. On Plymouth's second possession of the 3rd quarter, on the 6th play of the drive, Jack Barron threw his second touchdown pass of the game. A 72 yard strike to Justin Drudge for his second touchdown of the game to pull Plymouth within a 35-22 score.
The Rockies defense held off New Prairie on their next 8 play possession with a interception by Cam Eveland who returned it to the New Prairie 10 yard line. So the Rockies had it 1st and goal from the NP 10 yard line. Barron found Lacefield 7 yards out for the touchdown pass getting the Rockies within six points of the Cougars at 35-29.
The fourth quarter provided some of the "BEST" high school football a fan could ask for. Again, BIG PLAYS determined the outcome. That one big play happened when Plymouth was pinned deep in their own zone. It was 2nd and 10 from the Plymouth 6 yard line. New Prairie's defense covered every Rockies receiver on a pass play. Barron from his endzone, scrambled to his left, then threw right to an open area where no Rockies receiver could be found and was flagged for intentional grounding from the endzone resulting in two huge points for New Prairie. Making the score 37-29 Cougars.
Both teams stopped each others next possession, until Plymouth had the football 1st and 1o from their own 25 yard line. A big 72 yard pass play from Barron to Drudge got Plymouth down to the New Prairie 12 yard line. On a first down, Barron dropped back to pass and found Justin Drudge behind the defense over the middle, where Drudge made a "miracle" catch, laying out, catching the ball behind him for the score which got Plymouth with two, 37-35. New Prairie needed to make the stop on a two point conversion attempt and did when they prevented Taylor Fulton from scampering into the endzone.
New Prairie ran the rest of the 4:24 of the clock, thanks to Tyler Wellers 8 runs in the closing minutes of the game to finish the Rockies season.
Plymouth finishes the season an impressive 11-1.