By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The Concord High School football team playing for a state championship just wasn’t meant to be for the second year in a row.
The Minutemen got off on the wrong foot and the top-ranked Westfield Shamrocks capitalized on three first-half turnovers on the way to a 35-3 win in the Class 5A semistate Friday night at Westfield.
“We knew coming in we were going to have to make some plays,” Concord coach Tim Dawson said. “We didn’t make plays and they did. You can’t start out a game like we did with a turnover on the first play. You can’t play bad and win a semistate game.
“Losses at the semistate level really hurt. All we talked about in practice was making it to Monday and having one more week with these kids. As a coach I’ve had the chance to prepare a team to play for a state championship, Now these kids have fallen one game short two years in a row. That hurts. As as a coach part of my job is making sure the kids don’t get too down on them selves.”
A year ago, Concord lost to Mishawaka in the Class 4A semistate.
The Minutemen finish the season with a 10-3 record.
Westfield won the toss to start the game and deferred their choice to the second half.
Junior Jarrell Pointdexter returned the opening kickoff 17 yards to the C-32, but on the first play from scrimmage senior quarterback Trevor Wilmore’s pass was picked off by a Westfield defender.
The Shamrocks scored in five plays as junior running Elvin Caldwell scored the first of his three touchdowns.
Wilmore regrouped and drive the Minutemen to the W-13 before the drive stalled and the Minutemen had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by junior Ryan Tepe with 5:08 left in the opening period.
“I was proud of the way the kids marched down the field after Westfield scored,” Dawson said. “But we had to settle for a field goal. After that we didn’t have an answer on defense in the first half for Westfeld’s offense. They didn’t do anything on offense we had not practiced against. They executed the plays and we missed tackles.”
Westfield led 28-3 at halftime.
Wilmore ended the game with 13 completions in 29 passing attempts for 106 yards.
“Trevor never really got into a rhythm,” Dawson said. “You have to give some credit for that to Westfield’s defense. They put a lot of pressure on him and brought blitzes from the outside.”
Wilmore played the final game of his prep career with a partial tear of the PCL in his right knee.
“This is not as frustrating as it is disappointing,”Wilmore said. “We worked hard this season and coming up one game short again is tough.
“Westfield did great. They threw a lot of stuff at us and they made some great plays. We just could not weather the storm.”
Senior Chris Martin also played his final game for the Minutemen.
“After that first play when we had the interception I kept thinking our defense was going to step it up but we never did,” he said.
We were not ready to play mentally. That is what made this loss more frustrating than disappointing. We should have won this won.”