WARSAW Tyrone Olenczuk had waited five weeks to get back into a game and contribute to a championship, so he really didn’t mind waiting one extra quarter for his team’s offense to start playing like champions as well.
With Olenczuk contributing mightily for a stifling defense in his return from a torn ligament in his knee and with the offense shaking off a disastrous beginning, the Concord Minutemen won a share of the Northern Lakes Conference football title Friday night by virtue of a 34-9 victory over Warsaw at Fisher Field.
“Those things were just at the beginning of the game, so we just had to stay focused for the whole game,” Olenczuk said of Concord’s offense losing fumbles on its first two plays of the night from scrimmage. “We stayed in there and stuck together as a team.”
Olenczuk, an undersized but over-ready defensive lineman at 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, had at least three tackles for loss, including two sacks, as the Minutemen improved to 7-2 overall, 6-1 in the NLC to tie Plymouth for the league crown.
Concord won a third straight conference title for the first time in program history.
“I told the kids before the game all three phases need to make plays if we want to make history,” winning coach Tim Dawson said, alluding to offense, defense and special teams, “and all three did that. It took awhile for our offense, but it’s a tribute to our defense and our defensive coaches, how prepared they were, and then special teams made a couple really big plays.”
Specifically, sophomore Jerrell Poindexter, who merely blocked a punt to set up a touchdown, blocked a field goal try and returned a kickoff 39 yards to set up another TD.
The Tigers (6-3, 5-2), who were trying to earn a piece of their first league title since 2001, broke on top 7-0 after recovering the visitors’ first fumble at the Concord 11.
With Warsaw trying to go for a first down, though, on a fourth-and-1 from its own 29 early in the second quarter, Olenczuk stuffed Tiger star running back Tristan McClone for a 1-yard loss.
That set up the Minutemen’s first TD, a 20-yard sweep by quarterback Trevor Wilmore.
Then just one play after Poindexter’s blocked punt, Wilmore found Adam Glanders with a 27-yard scoring pass.
With it, Concord had a 14-7 lead by halftime despite having committed four turnovers to none by Warsaw.
It took the Minutemen just 27 seconds to widen the spread to 21-7 to start the second half. Poindexter’s long return was followed by Wilmore’s 40-yard scamper and then a Wilmore-to-Glanders 5-yard TD pass.
Concord’s defense kept the Tigers from seriously threatening a comeback. At least nine Minutemen had tackles for loss on the night, including a pair of sacks by Steven Gattman, while Kevin Moreno and Nick DeFreese recovered second-half Warsaw fumbles.
McClone, a junior who went into the contest averaging 187 yards rushing per game and 5.4 per carry, was limited to 64 yards on 26 attempts, a 2.5 average.
Wilmore finished with 208 yards passing and two TDs for Concord, and another 100 yards rushing with two more TDs. Glanders caught nine passes for 138 yards and two TDs.
The Minutemen open Class 4A sectional play next Friday at East Noble, while the Tigers host Penn in 5A.
Concord 34, Warsaw 9
Scoring by Quarters
Concord 0 14 7 13 — 34
Warsaw 7 0 2 0 — 9
School — Scoring Play
W — Tristan McClone 1 run; Caleb Klusman kick, 7:34.
C — Trevor Wilmore 20 run; Ryan Tepe kick, 10:43.
C — Adam Glanders 27 pass from Wilmore; Tepe kick, 7:15.
C — Glanders 5 pass from Wilmore; Tepe kick, 11:33.
W — Safety, Tanner Dickerhoff tackled Wilmore in end zone, 1:49.
C — Wilmore 3 run; Tepe kick, 9:08.
C — Larry Smith 38 run; kick blocked, 4:49.
Officials: Michael Acton, Roger Griffith, Lars Sacquitne, Scott Sanchez, Andrew Wood.
Team Statistics Co Wa
Net yards rushing 194 75
Net yards passing 208 95
Total Yards 402 170
First Downs 19 11
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 3-2
Penalties 11-106 6-52
Concord: Rushing — Trevor Wilmore 15-100, Larry Smith 7-52, DuWhan Alford 9-45. Passing — Wilmore 13-21-208 (1 int.). Receiving — Adam Glanders 9-138, Timothy Yoder 1-31, Alford 1-23, Franko House 1-11, Chris Martin 1-5.
Warsaw: Rushing — Tristan McClone 26-64, Jason Taylor 3-25. Passing — Austin Head 7-13-70 (0 int), Jake Mangas 1-4-25 (0 int.). Receiving — Taylor Cone 3-50, Conner McCammack 4-37, Trevor Pruitt 1-8. Interception — Zach Shepler.