Plymouth Head Coach John Barron knew the Semi-Final round of the Sectional against South Bend St. Joeseph was not going to be an easy one. Mother nature didn't help things either with her mix of snow and gusting winds. But in the end, a junior cornerback and runningback made the difference to help his Rockies to a 28-21 win over the Indians. This victory sets up a chance for the Rockies win a Sectional Championship, something not achieved since 2001.
Junior Cam Eveland was the headliner after a chilly night of playoff football for Plymouth, who didn't get off to a very good start offensively. Plymouth trailed by two scores twice in the ballgame but the defense made some big plays in the end.
St. Joe scored the first touchdowns on a 1 yard scamper by quarterback Oliver Page then set up their second score off an onside kick recovery resulting in fullback run by Brenden Connelly for 39 yards to make it a quick 14-0 score.
Plymouth was able to answer on their next possession when they used a 10 play drive that finished with Justin Drudge throwing a 17 yard pass to tight-end Matt Friar (x-tra point blocked) making the score 14-6 Indians at halftime.
The Rockies made some halftime adjustments, which included a challenge to their junior quarterback Jack Barron. He wasn't getting much accomplished on the option attack so something had to change. Change it did.
On St. Joe's second possession of the 3rd quarter, the Indians started from their own 31 yard line and six plays later Tajah Smith scored from seven yards to increase the St. Joe lead back to two scores, 21-6. From then on, the Rockies defense held court.
For a second time in the ballgame, Plymouth was able to answer a Indian score with one of their own. A St. Joe passer interference call gave Plymouth an additional 15 yards up field, then 8 plays later Cam Eveland began making a difference with a 9 yard touchdown catch cutting the Plymouth deficit to just one score 21-14 which included a two point conversion.
After getting St. Joe off the field in the next series three and out, Plymouth knocked on the door again. Jack Barron had 3 carries of a 6 play drive, including a 48 yard touchdown run to get his Rockies within one. Extra point was no good, 21-20 Indians at the end of quarter 3.
Once again, Plymouth's defense, stopped St. Joe's initial 4th quarter drive with another three and out scenario. Plymouth started from their 37 yard line. On the fifth play of this drive, Barron hooked up with Eveland for a 38 yard passing touchdown play to give Plymouth the lead for good at 28-21.
It came down to the final three minutes for St. Joe going for the tie. A Matt Friar pass interference kept the Indian drive alive on their 4th down attempt. Connelly had a 22 yard carry on play six. By play 9, the Indians were going against the wind gust of the Northern end of the field. They needed to throw the football at some point. Three consecutive passing plays by St. Joe targeted Cam Eveland defensively, hoping to hit their #1 WR in Madden but Cam Eveland denied ALL three throwing chances to help his Rockies advance to next Friday.
Plymouth (11-0) will face New Prairie (10-1) at the Rockpile. SPORTSTOTHEMAX.NET will broadcast that football game.