Memorial (0-1) at Concord (1-0)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Series record: Concord 14-5
Last season: Concord 47-0
This one has become the traditional NLC opener.
“We would like to move the game, but it is what it is,” Concord coach Tim Dawson said. “Our kids are taking the approach that this is just another Friday night.”
The Concord Minutemen have won three straight NLC titles. No team had captured three in a row since NorthWood’s impressive streak of six consecutive (two shared and four outright) from 1991-96.
“We know we have a target on our back,” the coach said. “But our kids understand what it has taken to get us to this place.”
Concord posted a 42-6 win over South Bend Washington in Week 1. The offense gained 314 total yards (171 rushing and 43 passing) while the “Strike Force” defense yielded 170 (minus 27 on the ground and 197 in the air).
“Our kids made some mistakes,” Dawson said. “We had some blown coverages on both sides of the ball. Our athletes need to communicate better on the field.
“The defense set up a lot of our scores. We only had one drive where we were backed up in our own territory. The rest of the time we took possession of the ball around midfield or in the Washington end of the field.
“Our first TD was on special teams (46-yard punt return by 5-9, 154, junior Jarrell Pointdexter) but that is the part of the game I would like to see have the biggest improvement from Week 1 to 2.”
The Memorial Crimson Chargers dropped a 13-0 decision to crosstown rival Elkhart Central last Friday.
“Memorial had some opportunities,” Dawson said. “They had a couple of turnovers they couldn’t turn into points and had trouble sustaining drives on offense.”
Two Concord starters — 6-2 (185) senior wideout Adam Glanders and 5-10 (170) senior running back Jackson Marlow are likely out of action for this week. Glanders caught three passes for 66 yards and Marlow carried the ball nine times for 54 yards against Washington.
“Neither injuries are serious, but in looking at the big picture it’s better to hold them out this week than play them and risk losing them possibly for the season.”
The injuries mean 5-11 (165) junior Kyle Moreno will see more time at wide receiver and 6-1 (210) senior Larry Smith at running back.