GOSHEN — And then there was one.
The Concord Minutemen are the lone surviving area high school football team in the IHSAA state tournament and are one victory shy of their ultimate goal.
Concord (10-2) squares off with the top-ranked Westfield Shamrocks (11-1) next Friday night. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Westfield.
The winner advances to the Class 5A state championship game on Friday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
“We’re one win away from the oil can,” Concord coach Tim Dawson said after Friday’s 34-14 regional win over Mishawaka.
The Minutemen are seeking their fourth semistate championship while Westfield is going after its second.
Concord has won five straight games since suffering back-to-back losses to Jimtown (35-14) and Plymouth (42-39) in Weeks 6 and 7. The Shamrocks have won nine in a row since their lone loss back in Week 3 to Fishers by a 48-45 score in three overtime.
Both teams can put points on the scoreboard as the Minutemen are averaging 34.9 per game and Westfield 34.1. Concord yields 13.6 per game on defense compared to 17.7 for the Shamrocks.
The win over Mishawaka was the 176th in Dawson’s 25 seasons guiding the Minutemen. The coach has turned the Minutemen program into a local powerhouse as Concord has not had a losing season since 2003 when the Minutemen finished 4-6.
Dawson has taken the Minutemen to two of three state championship games.
Concord’s first state appearance was in 1984 in the final season on Tom Conn’s eight seasons leading the Minutemen. He had a career mark of 65-23 at the school.
In 1984, Concord finished the regular season 7-3. The Minutemen defeated South Bend St. Joseph 14-7, Griffith 10-0 and Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger 21-12 to reach to the 3A state championship before the season ended with a 17-12 loss to Brownsburg.
Leading scorers for the Minutemen in the 1984 season were Dwayne O’Connor 40 points, Brian Richmond 36, Steve Papandrea 30, Scott DeShone and Brian Hansen both 24.