Vikings win EastPublished 12:09am Saturday, December 7, 2013
PLYMOUTH — Defensive coordinator Corey Crossen got the first Gatorade bath. Then it was head coach Robert Cody’s turn. Two celebratory showers seemed not only fitting, but symbolic, as the Plymouth football team clinched its second straight appearance in the NCHSAA 1-A state championship game by topping Lejeune 50-13 on Friday in the East Regional round of the playoffs.
The defending state champion Vikings (14-0) overcame their first deficit of the postseason by unleashing a 22-0 run that allowed them to capture the lead over the No. 1 Devilpups (13-2) and win their 27th straight game.
“This group has been really good together,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “It’s been a super ride all the way through. The kids have done a heck-of-a-job together.”
The victory sets up a rematch of the 2012 state championship game, as Plymouth will play West winners Murphy for the second straight time in next weekend’s title bout in Winston-Salem.
Throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs Plymouth had outscored teams 130-0, but fell behind by seven after the game’s first possession.
Lejeune gained 37 yards on a halfback-option pass that led to a 12-yard touchdown pass by the Devilpups QB and a 7-0 lead.
If the score weakened the Vikings’ resolve it was only for a brief moment. Plymouth answered with an 89-yard touchdown drive that was highlighted by an incredible third-down conversion that restored their swagger.
Facing third-and-long at its own 46, quarterback Malik Webb was swarmed by Devilpups’ defenders, but danced around them until he bought enough time to hurl a 34-yard pass down the right sideline to Chad Dance to extend the drive.
Three plays later Dance squirted through the Pups defense for a 5-yard score. A two-point conversion by Demarkice Price put Plymouth up 8-7 and it would never trail again.
The Vikings added another eight points in the second quarter after a Dance 9-yard run.
Plymouth’s lead expanded to 22-7 after a blocked punt paved the way for a 40-yard TD run by Demetrius Davis.
Lejeune swung back on the ensuing kickoff as Jamaze Richardson returned it 85-yard for a touchdown that cut the deficit to 22-13, but the Vikings retaliated with a 57-yard kickoff return by Price that led to another Davis score.
As the time wound down on the second quarter, Lejeune raced up the field and appeared poised to cross the goal line right before the end of the half, but the Devilpups quarterback fumbled on the 1-yard line, leaving the score at 28-13.
In the second half it was all Vikings, as Plymouth outscored Lejeune 22-0 over the final two quarters.
Price broke off a 38-yard score early in the third, while Davis bruised his way into the end zone late in the quarter to take a 42-13 lead into the fourth.
Webb scored the final touchdown of the night on a keepr with 5:11 left in the game to complete a clock-milking 65-yard drive that began in the third quarter.
Lejeune 7 6 0 0 — 13
Plymouth 8 20 14 8 — 50
L — 83 pass from 12 (63 kick), 9:43, 1st.
P — Chad Dance 5 run (Demarkice Price two points), 6:12, 1st.
P — Dance 9 run (Price two points), 6:52, 2nd.
P — Demetrius Davis 40 run (two points failed), 3:56, 2nd.
L — Jamaze Richardson 85 kick return (kick failed), 3:43, 2nd
P — Davis 2 run (two points failed), 2:20, 2nd.
P — Price 38 run (two points failed), 9:05, 3rd.
P — Davis 2 run (Price two points), 2:02, 2nd.
P — Malik Webb 1 run (Devonte Spruill two points), 5:11.