DUNLAP — Champions find a way to get things done when things are perhaps not at their most ideal.
They also eschew playing not to lose, and take a chance when the safe play is perhaps the better bet.
Concord did both these things Friday night at home in its Class 5A regional final contest against Mishawaka.
And the Minutemen were rewarded with a 27-7 win over the Cavemen.
Concord coach Tim Dawson is fond of telling us sportswriter types that at this time of the season, it’s about surviving and advancing.
The Minutemen did much more than that on a mild fall Friday night. They dominated and advanced.
The win provided sweet revenge for Concord, which dropped a heartbreaker to the Cavemen last season in the Class 4A semistate on the same Jake Field gridiron.
It’s said revenge is a dish best served cold. But I’m guessing that cold dish tasted just fine to the Minutemen Friday night.
The Minutemen got it done at home in a variety of ways.
They went for it on fourth-and-1 when a field goal was the high-percentage play.
They mixed up the offense on a night when their quarterback was not at 100 percent.
When they needed their defense to step up, the Strike Force did just that and then some, recovering a fumble, getting a pair of late interceptions and coming up with another takeaway on special teams.
Oh, and with the Cavemen down 13-0 and driving inside the Concord red zone to perhaps crack the scoreboard for the first time, the Minutemen got a huge sack on a 4th-and-11 play to deny Mishawaka.
A stop on a 4th-and-4 play from the Concord 46 with time winding down in the third quarter probably delivered the dagger in this one.
Defense wins championships, it’s said, and that was certainly the case here Friday night.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 533-2151, ext. 325 or by email at email@example.com.