Plymouth ‘D’ pitches second straight shutout in victory over Williamston

Published 5:12 am Saturday, October 18, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — Hosting the ninth-ranked 1-A team in the state, Williamston was hoping to make a statement against Plymouth on its Senior Night. Instead, it was the Vikings that made all the noise as they won 40-0 Friday to improve to their record to 7-1 (4-0).
Plymouth played stellar defense, stifling the Williamston rushing attack as it held the Tigers (3-5, 2-2) to a little over a yard per carry and recorded its second straight shutout.
If any statement was made on Friday it was by the Vikings’ offense, which proved it can throw the ball when it needs to; and can do it affectively.
Plymouth quarterback Akiem Cooper was 6-9 for 197 passing yards and one TD, doing most of his damage in the first half.
Heading into Friday’s game, both teams were really familiar with each other’s style. The Vikings, who are known for rushing the football, caught Williamston off guard early when they went deep on their second snap of the game.
Cooper was able to find a wide open Jameze Simpson on the right side of the field for an 86-yard touchdown pass to put Plymouth up 6-0 with 10 minutes left to play in the first quarter.
The Tigers never responded.
Williamston failed to get anything going on offense as it tallied a mere 35 yards on 28 attempts.
Quarterback Emery Griggs transition to quarterback continues to be a frustrating one for both he and the Tigers’ coaching staff.
Griggs showed promise, as his passing has come a long way. However, Griggs also turned the ball over twice trying to extend plays that weren’t there.
Griggs was also plagued by dropped passes all night, including two in the end zone.
The Tigers’ defense, which has been the backbone of this year’s team, had a rough outing. While Williamston had trouble defending the pass, it also let up 144 rushing yards on 38 attempts.
Tigers’ coach Asim McGill declined to comment after the game.
On the other side, the Vikings’ defense looked sharp.
The Vikings went up 12-0 after a 13-yard screen pass to Simpson helped set up a 3-yard TD run by Elmer Cooper.
Cooper was a force all night in short-yardage situations, and scored three TDs on the night.
In the second quarter, a 20-yard pass to Desmond Parker, and a 20-yard run by Ronell Blount keyed Plymouth’s third scoring drive of the game, which was capped off by a Blount 3-yard run.
The Vikings added another score right before the half, as a Cooper 34-yard play-action pass to Simpson led to a Cooper 4-yard TD run to give them a 28-0 lead.
After the break, the Vikings struck right away as Leslie Jones broke off an 83-yard kickoff return for the Vikings to put them up 34-0.
Plymouth’s last touchdown came on a 1-yard run by Cooper.
The Vikings will be back in action next Friday when they host Camden, while Williamston will look to rebound at Northside.
Plymouth Williamston
14 First Downs 6
38-144 Rushes-Yards 28-35
197 Passing Yards 73
6-9 Pass-Comp-Int 5-16-1
2-15 Punting 6-37.5
2-1 Fumbles-Lost 4-3
4-40 Penalties 5-32
Plymouth 12 14 14 0 — 40
Williamston 0 0 0 0 — 0
Scoring summary
P — Jameze Simpson 86 pass from Akiem Cooper (two points failed), 10:01, 1st.
P — Elmer Cooper 3 run (two points failed), 4:19, 1st.
P — Ronnell Blount 4 run, (two points failed), 4:06, 2nd.
P — Cooper 4 run (Simpson two points), :49, 2nd.
P — Leslie Jones 83 kick return (Blount two points), 11:47, 3rd.
P — Cooper 1 run (two points failed), 4:07, 2nd.