Plymouth rushes past Knights|Blount, Bland and Copper lead Vikes to victory

Published 11:20 pm Saturday, October 16, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — A staunch defensive effort coupled with an explosive rushing attack allowed Plymouth to hold off Riverside and maintain sole possession of first place in the Four Rivers Conference with a 42-20 victory on Friday night.
Running back Ronnell Blount led the charge as he rushed for a game-high 144 yards and two touchdowns for the fourth-ranked Vikings, helping them extended their perfect record to 8-0 (4-0).
Devonte Bland got an unexpected start at running back and stepped up big time as he gained 135 yards and scored once, while Elmer Cooper rushed for 99 yards and two TDs.
The 10th-ranked Knights (6-2, 2-2) had troubled getting their normally explosive offense in gear as they rushed the ball 10 times for 63 yard while hitting on only six of their 20 pass attempts.
One of those connections was a brilliant 52-yard bomb from quarterback Luke Mathews to 6-6 sophomore wideout Marcus Freeman who ran a go route down the right sideline and was able to haul in the pass and score in the second quarter.
The Knights scored their first TD of the game when Mathews hit Trevon Rodgers for a 12-yard TD pass that tied the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.
Plymouth responded with 45-yard TD run by Cooper to reclaim the lead. After Freeman’s TD reception tied the game at 14, the Vikings took the lead again on another Cooper score, this time from five yards out to go into halftime up 28-14.
From there it was all Plymouth as it churned out the rushing yards and out-scored Riverside 20-6.
“Riverside is a really good team. They made a lot of big plays but I thought we were able to answer every time they made a play,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “(Defensive coordinator) Terry Perry had a good game plan and we were able to make some adjustments at halftime and then we were able to run the ball.”
In the end, the Vikings ability to break off long runs proved to be the difference.
“I thought it was a great game. We made some big stops, but they had a couple of big plays here and there and that was the difference in the ball game,” McGill said