DUNLAP — Concord built a big lead and held on to beat Warsaw in Northern Lakes Conference football Friday at Jake Field.
After being up 34-7 at halftime, the Minutemen edged the Tigers, 34-28.
Thanks to NorthWood beating Plymouth 40-20 Friday, Class 5 No. 8-ranked Concord (8-1) shares the NLC title with Plymouth. Both the Minutemen and Rockies finished the season 6-1 in conference games.
“We defended (Warsaw) about as good as you can in the first half,” said Concord coach Craig Koehler. “We knew they weren’t going to go away. “We knew they were going to keep coming.”
The Minutemen sealed the win by stopping the Tigers on fourth down with 1:38 to play then took three knees to run out the clock.
A 20-play drive by Class 6 No. 7-ranked Warsaw (7-2, 5-2) ate up 99 yards and nearly seven minutes on the clock as Warsaw pulled to within 34-28 at 6:19 of the fourth quarter.
Juan Jaramillo carried the ball the last 1 yard and Harrison Mevis added the extra point.
The Tigers pulled to within 34-21 at 7:34 of the third quarter.
After Zach DeFord dropped on a Concord fumble on fourth down-and-2 at the Warsaw 34, the Tigers found themselves in the end zone two plays later. Wyatt Amiss tossed a 57-yard TD pass to Mason Martz and Mevis added the extra point.
Warsaw cut the gap to 34-14 at 10:09 of the third quarter.
The Tigers took the kickoff to open the second quarter and went 60 yards in six plays. Amiss scored on a 1-yard run and Mevis made the extra point.
Concord led 34-7 at halftime.
“It was against a really good team that came out and punched us in the mouth and had their way with us,” Warsaw coach Bart Curtis said. “In the first half, we gave little to no resistance in any facet of the game.”
How about the comeback?
“We told the kids there are no 27-point plays,” Curtis said. “If you’re going to rally, you’ve got to chip away. You hope for a break. The defense has got to get a stop or two. They did. They shut them out the second half.”
The Minutemen had the football six times in the first two periods and produced points on all of them.
A nine-play, 35-yard drive concluded with Jack D’Arcy catching a 10-yard TD pass from Ethan Cain. Ariel DeLaPaz tacked on the extra point as Concord led 34-7 with 22.7 seconds left in the first half.
A 46-yard field goal by DeLaPaz put the Minutmen up 27-7 at the 4:38 mark of the second quarter.
It was 24-7 at 7:52 of the second period when Carter Neveraski ran for a 3-yard TD and DeLaPaz added the kick.
Warsaw scored at 11:55 of the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Jaramillo. Mevis booted the conversion and it was 17-7.
Concord led 17-0 with a 30-yard DeLaPaz field goal at 3:33 of the first quarter.
Jamyris Rice dashed 15 yards for a TD and DeLaPaz added the point-after to give the Minutemen a 14-0 lead at 6:54 of the first period. The score came two plays after Colton Barton pounced on a fumbled Tiger pitch play at the Warsaw 15.
Concord took the game-opening kickoff and marked 80 yards in nine plays. The TD at 7:57 of the first quarter was a 25-yard pass to Logan Wittmer from Cain.
“We’re pretty good on offense,” said Koehler. “We’ve gashed a lot of people.”
On Nov. 1, Concord visits the winner of next week’s Elkhart Central-South Bend Adams game in a Class 5A sectional semifinal.
CONCORD 34, WARSAW 28
Warsaw 0 7 14 7 — 28
Concord 17 17 0 0 — 34
Scoring First Quarter
C — (7:57) Logan Wittmer 25 pass from Ethan Cain (Ariel DeLaPaz)
C — (6:54) Jamyris Rice (DeLaPaz kick) C — (3:33) DeLaPaz 30 field goal
W — (11:55 Juan Jaramillo 1 run (Harrison Mevis)
C — (7:52) Carter Neveraski 3 run (DeLaPaz kick)
C — (4:38) DeLaPaz 46 field goal
C — (:22.7) Jack D’Arcy 10 pass from Cain (DeLaPaz)
W — (10:09) Wyatt Amiss 1 run (Mevis kick)
W — (7:34) Mason Martz 57 pass from Amiss (Mevis kick)
W — (6:19) Jaramillo 1 run (Mevis kick)