Unbeaten and ranked among the state's top 20 teams regardless of class, Adrian ran into a black-and-silver buzzsaw Friday night at the P-CEP junior varsity football stadium.
Plymouth put it all together, proving it's more than ready for next week's MHSAA state playoffs, sawing down the Maples, 48-7.
Although the 7-2 Wildcats had already clinched a post-season playoff berth, the victory was critical in that it will give them a good chance at hosting a first-round post-season contest next week.
"Our defense came out tonight and flew around," said Plymouth coach Mike Sawchuk. "We showed them a different scheme. We moved some guys around and took advantage of our speed.
"They're a big passing team, so we told the defensive backs that they're going to complete some underneath passes, but make sure to keep them in front of you, and they did."
The Wildcats experimented by moving Donte Fox from linebacker to nose guard.
The experiment worked.
"They couldn't block him," Sawchuk said. "Adrian had minus-20 yards rushing. Donte had a lot to do with that."
Sawchuk praised the play of Brennen Beyer, Tony Rhodes, Tyler Goble and Phil Schultz.
Offensively, quarterback Shaun Austin had a stellar night, completing 19 of 26 aerials for 167 yards and two scores -- one each to Jake Morris an Adedamola Adebiyi.
Senior receiver Mike Olevnik had a break-out game, catching seven passes for 71 yards.
The most eye-catching numbers on the Plymouth stat sheet were those just to the right of senior Kyle Brindza's name. The cannon-legged kicker booted field goals of 53 and 50 yards.
On the ground, Jerel Jenkins did a pretty good Adrian Peterson impersonation, churning out 142 yards on 24 carries. Two of Jenkins' runs ended in the end zone.
Fox also ran hard, picking up 97 yards and two TDs on 10 carries.
The game was halted for close to a half hour mid-way through the first quarter when a referee was knocked cold near the 50-yard line after colliding with a player during a punt.
An ambulance was dispatched to the field, but the ref refused the trip to the hospital and watched the remainder of the game from the sidelines.
Sawchuk saw the collision from the sidelines and was the first person to come to the ref's aid.
"When I first got to him, it didn't look good at all," Sawchuk said. "But after a few seconds, he opened his eyes and started to come to."
Brindza got the scoring ball rolling for the Wildcats just over three minutes in when he gave the Maples a taste of his right leg when he split the uprights from 53 yards out.
Plymouth bumped its lead to 17-0 at the end of the first quarter thanks to 4- and 8-yard TD runs from Jenkins.
The Wildcats led 31-0 at the intermission. Fox scored on a 1-yard run and Austin connected with Adebiyi on a 3-yard TD pass with two seconds left in the half.
Plymouth expanded its lead to 38-0 5:16 into the third quarter when Austin found Morris in the end zone from 11 yards out.
Adrian's lone score came on its ensuing drive when Sebastian Johnson tossed a 47-yard scoring pass to Ryan Dempsey.
The Wildcats closed out the scoring on a Brindza 50-yard field goal and Fox's 25-yard dash to paydirt.
Plymouth outgained Adrian, 471-194 in total yards, outrushing their visitors, 262 to minus-20. Plymouth ran 69 plays to Adrian's 41.
Ed Wright can be reached at (734) 453-1980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday's game was played under a full moon. (Ed Wright photo)
Anthony Lemerise returned this punt for 10 yards. (Ed Wright photo)
Jerel Jenkins had a huge game, rushing for 142 yards. (Ed Wright photo)
Tony Rhodes jolted Adrian quarterback Sebastion Johnson on this sack. (Ed Wright photo)
Kyle Brindza tees the ball up after blasting a 53-yard field goal. (Ed Wright photo)
Shaun Austin completed 19 of 26 passes for 167 yards. (Ed Wright photo)