SYRACUSE — Concord came up empty the first time the Minutemen had the football.
But that was one of the few times as Class 5A No. 5-ranked Concord (4-0, 3-0) earned a 43-7 Northern Lakes Conference victory Friday, Sept. 13 on the turf against Wawasee (1-3, 0-2) at Warrior Field.
As the third quarter closed, Hunter Dutton fired a 38-yard touchdown pass to Dante Reed and Ariel De La Paz booted the extra point for a 43-7 Concord lead.
Wawasee got on the scoreboard on its second possession of the second half.
Parker Young connected on a pass over the middle to LaShaun Morris and he sprinted 64 yards for a TD. Caleb Clevenger kicked the conversion to cut the gap to 36-7 with 4:26 to go in the third period.
By scoring on five of its seven first-half possessions and getting a defensive score, Concord led 36-0 after two quarters and the new running clock rule (35-point differential at halftime) was observed in the second half.
“We wanted to limit the damage early on and we did that,” said Warriors coach Jon Reutebuch. “Then it seemed like one of the wheels came off and they all came off. We made numerous mistakes and against a team like that, you can’t do that.
“I’m not trying to make any excuses. (Concord) is a great team. We would’ve had our hands full no matter what. But you can’t have five two-way starters out (because of injury).”
Ethan Cain threw a 16-yard TD pass to Amarion Moore and De La Paz added the kick for a 36-0 lead with 11.7 seconds to go before intermission.
Cain completed 24-of-28 passes for 214 yards and four TDs in the first half and did not play in the second half.
Concord gained less than 100 yards on the ground and 39 of that came on a TD run by Jamryis Rice.
“The last couple of weeks as we completed more balls (passing), it loosened the defense and we were able to run,” said Minutemen coach Craig Koehler. “Obviously our players understand that’s the area where we need to improve.”
Thanks to the powerful Minutemen defense, the Warriors had 2 net yards (16 passing and minus-10 running).
Concord’s Kendrick Jordan pounced on a Wawasee fumble at the Warrior 14. Three plays later, Concord was in the end zone with Cain firing a 9-yard TD pass to Jack D’Arcy. The kick failed and the score was 29-0 with 5:36 to go in the first half.
The Minutemen’s advantage moved to 23-0 with 7:31 left in the second quarter with a Cain 10-yard TD pass to Carter Neveraski. The scoring drive covered 56 yards in seven plays following a free kick by Wawasee.
Concord went ahead 16-0 with 10:54 to go in the second quarter when the defense tackled Levi Brown in the end zone for a safety on the first play following a kickoff with the Warriors starting at their own 3-yard line.
Rice ran over the left side of the line and sailed 39 yards for a touchdown and De La Paz tacked on the extra point as the Minutemen went up 14-0 with 11:04 left in the second quarter.
Cain completed 6-of-7 passes, including a 5-yard TD toss to Moore at 3:11 of the first quarter to punctuate Concord’s 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive. De La Paz booted the PAT.
Wawasee donned Indiana Army National Guard uniforms (gold helmets, olive green shirts with black letters and black numbers trimmed in gold and white pants).
In Week 5, Concord visits Goshen and Wawasee goes to NorthWood, both Friday, Sept. 20.
CONCORD 43, WAWASEE 7
Concord 7 29 7 0 — 43
Wawasee 0 0 7 0 — 7
Scoring First Quarter
C — (3:11) Amarion Moore 5 pass from Ethan Cain (Ariel De La Paz kick)
C — (11:04) Jamyris Rice 39 run (De La Paz kick) C — (10:54) Wawasee’s Levi Brown tackled in the end zone for a safety C — (7:31) Carter Neveraski 10 pass from Cain (De La Paz kick) C — (5:36) Jack D’Arcy 9 pass from Cain (kick failed) C — (:11.7) Moore 16 pass from Cain (De La Paz)
W — (4:26) LaShaun Morris 64 pass from Parker Young (Caleb Clevenger kick) C — (0:00) Dante Reed 38 pass from Hunter Dutton (De La Paz kick)