ATTICA - It turns out, the visitor's side of the scoreboard at Seneca East wasn't broken after all. It just took five-and-a-half quarters of football this season for anyone to put any points up against the Tigers.
Plymouth converted a second quarter field goal to finally light up the visitor's half of the board. Meanwhile, the Seneca East offense was lighting up its side at will, building a 40-9 lead after three quarters and cruising to a 40-21 victory.
"Our defense, two weeks in a row now, its been solid," Seneca East coach Ed Phillips said. "They played really well. (Plymouth) ended up with 21 points on the board, but two of those (touchdowns) were against our JVs. So I'm really proud with how our defense has started the season off."
"As a team, the defense is doing outstanding so far," linebacker Kurtis Reichert added. "Last week with the shutout and this week, I don't know how far they rushed or anything, but it didn't seem like much out there."
It actually was 248 yards rushing. However, most of that came during the fourth quarter, including a 99-yard scoring drive.
The first three quarters, though, featured hitting, hitting, turnovers and more hitting.
"That's the team's goal every week, to come out and hit as hard as we can, make sure we get them reeling back and keep our momentum up from the very beginning," Tiger senior lineman Marshall Lucius said.
The pure thought of how physical his team played brought a smile to Phillips' face after the game.
"We're playing really physical up front," Phillips said. "Our defensive line and our linebackers, they're playing very physical and very tough football right now.
"We were hitting. Every football coach wants to be physical, and, boy, did we hit tonight. It was a lot of fun."
"You get the big hit, you feel really good about it," Reichert added.
Seneca East forced the Big Red into five turnovers. The Tigers recovered two fumbles and grabbed three interceptions.
"I though we did a really good job getting to the ball quickly and we definitely got more people to the ball to strip it," Lucius said.
When the defense got the ball back, the Tiger offense took advantage.
Senior Jordan Phillips, who his coach referred to as "lightning in a bottle," made his first varsity start, filling in for an injured Ethan Caudill. He ran for 121 yards, threw for 141 more and accounted for a pair of touchdowns, one rushing, one passing.
"He's a kid that shows up everyday in the weight room and he does everything all out and loves football," coach Phillips said. "For him to go out and play well last week and this week, lead us to victory after Ethan went down last week, I feel great for him and great for our team right now."
Phillips said he wasn't nervous getting the start and his actions backed up his words when he ran 36 yards for the game's first score.
"We got a really good offensive line and a good offense," Jordan Phillips said. "We had a good game plan and I just had to follow it."
After forcing a Plymouth to fumble on its next play, Phillips connected with Kevin Moore on a 30-yard pass to the 2-yard line, where Alex Scheiber punched it in on the next snap.
Seneca East tacked on another score in the first quarter, once again taking advantage of a Plymouth mistake. After recovering a fumbled Plymouth punt, the Tigers struck fast. Caudill entered the game and didn't take long to get comfortable. His first play was a 32-yard touchdown pass to Adam Bauman that upped the lead to 20-0 after one quarter.
While Phillips was more than pleased with his team's start, the same couldn't be said for Big Red mentor Mark Genders.
"Lack of emotion, lack of leadership, a sorry display of football. I'm not very proud of my team right now," Genders said. "Turnovers happen because we were forced to throw the ball, things that we don't do that great. We just didn't play with any emotion. We didn't come out ready to go, and that's my fault."
Coming out in the third quarter, the Tigers picked up right where they left off before the break. Seven straight running plays brought Seneca East to the end zone. Scheiber punched it in for the second time on the night.
The sophomore finished with 50 yards on seven carried and a pair of scores.
Plymouth's first second-half drive ended with its fifth and final turnover of the night, this one coming off a Mason McWilliams interception.
Once again, it took only one play for Seneca East to convert. Phillips hit Adam Hall on a swing pass and Hall raced 35 yards for the score.
After Plymouth finally found the end zone on a 9-yard pass from Hunter Bailey to Tyrell Edmiston, Seneca East drove down for its final scored, a 1-yard run from Jared Walker.
Jordan Phillips said after it's a nice help to have so many weapons, even when he misfires.
"I don't know how a defense can guard me, Alex and Jared in the backfield at the same time. I wouldn't want to do it," Phillips said. "Adam Hall made a great catch on a terrible throw. Darin Baldosser made a really nice catch on the sidelines. We got a lot of weapons to play with."
As Plymouth found out Friday, a lot of offensive weapons and a stingy defense make for a tough combination to beat.
Seneca East 40, Plymouth 21
Plymouth03612 - 21
Seneca East200200 - 0
SE - Jordan Phillips 36 run (Issac Phillips kick) 5:30
SE - Alex Scheiber 2 run (kick failed) 4:42
SE - Adam Bauman 32 pass from Ethan Caudill (Phillips kick) :49
P - Brett Roberts 23 field goal, 6:04
SE - Scheiber 2 run (Phillips kick) 9:12
SE - Adam Hall 35 pass from Phillips (Phillips kick) 6:00
P - Tyrell Edmiston 9 pass from Hunter Bailey (kick failed) 3:55
SE - Jared Walker 1 run (kick failed) :30
P - Austin Durbin 5 run (kick failed) 8:56
P - Grant Weltlin 1 run (kick failed) :24
RUSHING: Plymouth - Chance Butcher 13-57; Austin Durbin 9-51; Hunter Bailey 9-39; Shadd Collins 6-85; Grant Weltlin 4-11; John Gillum 2-4; Tyson Beebe 1-2; Adam Prederi 1-2; TEAM 1-(minus 2). Seneca East - Jordan Phillips 8-121; Alex Scheiber 7-50; Jared Walker 11-38; Adam Bauman 1-15; Cale Felter 2-8; Hunter Saylors 1-0; Ethan Caudill 1-0; TEAM 1-(minus 3).
PASSING: Plymouth - Hunter Bailey 5-12-52-3. Seneca East - Jordan Phillips 8-13-141; Ethan Caudill 2-4-48-1.
RECEIVING: Plymouth - Jeremiah Crager 4-43; Tyrell Edmiston 1-9. Seneca East - Adam Hall 2-51; Kevin Moore 2-46; Alex Scheiber 2-19; Adam Bauman 1-32; Darin Baldosser 1-18; Mason McWilliams 1-18; Jared Walker 1-5.