Plymouth's football team played well on both sides of the ball Thursday night, but penalties, turnovers and mental mistakes ultimately proved costly in an 18-10 setback to visiting Howell.
The Highlanders improved to 2-0 while the Wildcats slipped to 1-1.
"I felt like we were the better team as far as play-makers and ability, but they were the better team because they were more disciplined than we were," said Plymouth coach Mike Sawchuk.
Both teams' defenses entered the game on the heels of posting impressive first-game shutouts and the streaks continued throughout a scoreless first quarter.
Plymouth broke the scoring ice first when strong-legged kicker Kyle Brindza drilled a 30-yard field goal to give the 'Cats a 3-0 lead.
Howell seized a 6-3 lead later in the quarter when quarterback Greg Cavley hooked up with wide receiver Pete Cender on a 37-yard TD strike. Plymouth senior defensive lineman Kenneth Durham blocked the extra point to keep his team within three points.
Plymouth regained the lead, 10-7, in the third quarter when Brennen Beyer separated the ball from Cavley on a sack. Donte Fox scooped up the ball and dashed 66 yards to paydirt to make it 10-7.
However, mistakes did in the 'Cats in the fourth quarter when the Highlanders scored 11 unanswered points.
Fox led Plymouth's rushers with 60 yards. Jerel Jenkins added 21.
Junior quarterback Shaun Austin completed 11 of 25 passes for 126 yards. Senior wide receiver Adedamola hauled in four of Austin's passes for a team-high 59 yards.
Senior receiver Vic Hicks had two grabs for 22 yards.
Defensively, junior linebacker Tyler Goble led the way with nine tackles and a sack. Senior linebacker Tony Rhodes added eight stops.
"We need to play more disciplined," said Sawchuk, when asked what his team needs to improve on prior to next week's 7 p.m. Friday home game against Wayne Memorial. "We had too many penalties, blown coverages, personal fouls, illegal procedures, dropped passes. I mean, we did it to ourselves and we still had a chance to win."
Pictured (from left) are Plymouth defensive players Tyler Goble, Tony Rhodes and William Roberts. (Chris Perkovich photo)