By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The loss last week to the Jimtown Jimmies didn’t have an effect on Concord’s NLC title aspirations.
The same can’t be said about the Minutemen’s 42-39 loss Friday night in a high school football game at league-rival Plymouth.
Plymouth fumbled the ball seven times (lost three) including a pair of late ones that forced the Rockie defense to make stops to hold on for the win over the No. 3-ranked Class 5A Minutemen. Plymouth forced Concord to turn the ball over on downs with :42 left to play.
“This was another Concord-Plymouth classic. We just seem to be coming up on the short end of them,” Concord coach Tim Dawson said. “One positive is we challenged our kids to play 48 minutes. When the Rockies went up 42-24 we could have folded our tent, but the kids didn’t.”
Plymouth’s sophomore quarterback Jack Barron scored on a 1-yard sneak at 11:50 of the fourth quarter for that 42-24 advantage.
Concord narrowed the gap to 42-31 with 7:54 remaining when senior quarterback Trevor Wilmore and junior wide receiver Jerrell Pointdexter hooked up on a 51-yard scoring pass.
The Rockies then fumbled the ball and Concord recovered at the P-37. Wilmore and Pointdexter teamed up for the fourth scoring play of the game with 2:10 left to play. Wilmore scored on the conversion run and the Minutemen trailed by three points.
Things appeared to turn one again in favor of the Minutemen when the Rockies fumbled and sophomore Matt Moreno recovered at the P-45. Concord turned the ball over on four incomplete passes and Plymouth looked to run the clock out. The Minutemen defense had other ideas and forced yet another fumble which was recovered by Moreno at the P-39 with 1:17 remaining on the clock. This time the Plymouth defense responded with pressure on Wilmore and sacked him on second down. The Rockies made two more plays including a the break up of a Concord pass on fourth down by a diving defensive back that preserved the win for Plymouth.
“Our defense got us back the ball and gave us chances to win the game,” Dawson said. “Our playmakers made plays and so did their playmakers. Plymouth just made a few more plays than we did.”
Wilmore and Pointdexter were among the Minutemen making plays.
Wilmore was 14-of-33 passing for 245 yards and a the four scores to Pointdexter who had eight receptions in the game for 153 yards.
Senior Adams Glanders caught three passes for 38 yards and classmate Chris Martin one for 43 for the Minutemen.
Pointdexter had one catch in the opening half for a 50-yard TD at 4:39 of the first period.
“We had our receivers in different positions in the first half,” Dawson said. “In the second half we went back to they way we had them at the start of the season. It was time to return to what we had been doing.”
The Minutemen took a 14-7 lead in the opening stanza when senior linebacker Jacob Kronk picked off a pass and returned it 75 yards for a TD.
Plymouth tied the score 14-14 when junior Jacob Drudge galloped 75 yards for a TD with 2:16 left in the period.
The Rockies took the lead for good when senior Frantz intercepted a tipped ball and scampered 79 yards into the end zone at 7:35 of the second.
Concord junior Ryan Tepe closed the gap to 21-17 at halftime with a 35-yard field goal :40 before intermission.
Halftime lasted longer than normal when officials suspended the game when lightening was spotted. The second half didn’t start until 9:35 p.m.
Senior Michael Hartman carried the ball 27 times for 216 yards and two scores to lead the Rockies. Drudge added 89 yards on seven carries and Barron 61 on 20.
Concord (5-2, 4-1 NLC) hosts Northridge next Friday.
“The good thing is every team has a loss in the NLC so we don’t have to ask for any help. We still control our own destiny,” Dawson said.
The loss could be even more painful for the Miutemen as senior offensive tackle Eriq Jordan suffered a what appears to have been a knee injury.
“It doesn’t look good,” Dawson said. “The trainer is thinking torn ligaments, but we will have to get that confirmed by an MRI.”