PLYMOUTH — The Big Red made history Friday night.
Six different players scored touchdowns as 13th-seeded Plymouth picked up the first playoff victory in program history, rumbling to a 46-12 win over No. 20 Lisbon David Anderson in a Division VII, Region 25 opening-round game at Plymouth High School.
“It feels great. It feels great for the kids,” longtime Plymouth coach Mark Genders said. “I told them I’ve got to know what this team is capable of when we play four quarters. They showed me that tonight.”
The Big Red (4-3), who have adopted the double-wing offense made popular locally by Lucas, put together a 13-play drive — all on the ground — to open the game and chewed nearly seven minutes off the clock. Senior Josh Stevens capped it with a 1-yard run with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter. A Shae Sparks two-point conversion run made it 8-0.
“Any time you get the double-wing going and you get a score first, it puts a lot of pressure on the (opposing) defense because they know we’re going to try to eat the clock,” Genders said. “That two-point conversion is just as big. You’ve got a team that just rode over here two-and-a-half hours on a bus, that’s not what they wanted to see.”
Plymouth pushed the lead to 14-0 when quarterback Luke Hamman hooked up with Caiden Allen on a 38-yard scoring strike with 1:08 remaining in the first quarter. On David Anderson’s ensuing possession, quarterback Tyler Welsh was sacked in the end zone by Plymouth’s Trace McVey and Noah Trimmer for a safety and a 16-0 Plymouth lead with 31 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
A 16-yard Sparks scamper followed by a two-point conversion run by Stephens gave Plymouth a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter. On Plymouth’s next possession, Evan Branham broke free for a 53-yard run down to the David Anderson 2-yard line. Branham bulled into the end zone on the next play and a Hamman-to-Charlie Schaub two-point conversion pass made it 32-0 with 5:14 remaining in the second quarter.
The Blue Devils (1-6) finally got on the board when Welsch scored on a 2-yard run with 4:32 left in the first half, making it 32-6. That’s how it stood at halftime.
Plymouth triggered the running clock when Trimmer returned a partially blocked punt 55 yards for a touchdown with 8:28 remaining in the third quarter for a 39-6 bulge. A 1-yard plunge by Colten Sparks made it 46-6 midway through the fourth before David Anderson’s Jacob Grodhaus scored on a 3-yard run with just 38 seconds remaining in the game to make it 46-12.
Next up for the Big Red is a trip to fourth-seeded Dalton. The Bulldogs (4-2) had an opening-round bye.
“It feels pretty good, especially with all this stuff going on,” said Stevens, who also had a big game from his linebacker spot. “For us to focus up and not worry about the stuff outside (of football), it feels pretty good.”