After giving up 150 first-half yards to the Chiefs' Malcolm Hollingsworth and spotting Canton an early 21-6 lead, the Wildcats' defense clamped down and limited the speedy running back to just 14 second-half yards.
The defense came up with a key stop late in the third quarter when the Wildcats' Nate Emminger made a touchdown-saving tackle on a run by the Chiefs' Kendall Scott, and followed it with another stop inside their own 10-yard-line, forcing a field goal attempt that the Wildcats' special teams blocked and recovered at the Chiefs' 30.
The Wildcats took advantage of the gift from the Chiefs and found the end zone just four plays later.
"I think the blocked field goal probably won the game," Plymouth coach Mike Sawchuk said after the game. "That's the name of the game, you've got to try to get them off the field."
On a cold and rainy night, the Wildcats relied on their ground game to score 22 unanswered points against the Chiefs, totaling 326 rushing yards. Jamarl Eiland accounted for 202 of Plymouth's yards on the ground.
"We planned on passing a lot more, but you know, weather conditions," Eiland said after the game. "So we just had to go at it and we just had to pound the ball out."
For the Wildcats, bragging rights are back with Plymouth High School, which beat Canton in 2011 in a similarly thrilling come-from-behind win, but lost to the Chiefs during a first-round playoff rematch. The two schools, along with Salem High School, share a campus on the Plymouth and Canton border.
"There's a lot of trash-talking," Eiland said after the game. "Our players, we try to stay out of it and we leave that to the fans and try to come out here and focus."
With the win, the Wildcats (6-1 overall, earned an automatic playoff berth. The Chiefs (4-3) must win out the remainder of the regular season to earn an automatic berth. Both teams play KLAA crossover games next week against teams that have yet to be announced.