Bill Beck
Bill Beck
In Side Lines, Bill Beck offers observations, quips and queries about Elkhart County sports, often heavy on high school football and Notre Dame. Now and then, he puts a twisted spin on a variety of hot topics.

Other Stories by Bill Beck
Sports editor Bill Beck covers high school and Notre Dame sports for the Elkhart Truth.

Concord could use a rebound win at Plymouth to get back on track

The Concord-Plymouth series has easily become the most dynamic rivalry in the NLC.

Posted on Oct. 4, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Oct. 4, 2013 at 5:11 a.m.

Concord rebounded last season after losing in a romp at Jimtown and went on to NLC, sectional, and regional championships. The Minutemen eventually found stride and later were one play away from going to the 4A state finals. Head coach Tim Dawson believes his team got the message even before it left Jake Field last Friday night. "You could see it in their eyes. We will find out what kind of team we want to be. Last year we ended up being a pretty darned good team," Dawson said moments after last Friday's setback to the Jimmies.

But before Concord rambled its way to the 4A semistate, it took another close loss at the hands of Plymouth, its opponent this week. The loss to the Jimmies cost Concord its No.1 ranking, though high school football polls aren't the most reliable gauge. The Minutemen are certainly worthy of being among the top 10 to 15 teams in Indiana, but they clearly weren't ready to top any ratings. And it's a good thing. As Dawson last week, the bullseye is off their backs. At least that No.1 bullseye is ... that NLC target is still pretty clear. The Concord-Plymouth series has easily become the most dynamic rivalry in the NLC with the Rockies winning 8 of 14 meetings since 2000.

In 2012, Plymouth was much deeper and experienced. If the Rocks can control the ball early like Jimtown down, Concord will have its hands full, but Wawasee torched coach John Barron's club with nearly 500 yards of offense -- more than 300 through the air -- in a 52-35 shootout. I can't see PHS handling Minutemen receivers and Trevor Wilmore is sure to have a bounce-back game. Take Concord.

Other games: NorthWood at Elkhart Memorial ... a couple of teams still trying to find an identity. The Crimson Chargers scored more points last week (35) at South Bend Clay then they had combined in the first five games (26). The Panthers are bruised up and have dropped 3 of 4. Nathan Troutman looks like he may be the current answer at QB after leaving his wideout slot. Take Memorial at home.

Fort Wayne Snider at Elkhart Central: No team has more injuries to starters than the Blue Blazers. The Panthers were once the No.1 team in 5A. Now they've lost 2 of 3, including a blowout at Penn. ... Culver @ Jimtown: Any reason to think the Jimmies won't roll into the 3A tournament with 4 straight victories? Me, either. ... Goshen @ Northridge: The Raiders continue to re-write history and repay old NLC debts. Only once since NR joined the league in 1987 has it posted 4 league victories. Redskins struggle and struggle and the Raiders will follow up their NorthWood high with yet another victory.

Lakeland @ Fairfield: It's homecoming, the Falcons have won 4 straight and the Lakers are unbeaten. The NECC title goes through these two schools and Churubusco. Coach Bob Miller says his team is as healthy as they've been all season. Maybe the homefield edge will come through this year. ... Wawasee at Warsaw: A great rivalry in Kosciusko County and both sides have plenty to prove. The Warriors found their airshow offense at Plymouth and the Tigers can't afford a second NLC loss.

Penn at St. Joe: Other than Mishawaka in Week 9, the Kingsmen will see their next-best NIC test. But Penn's defense is manhandling everyone in sight and they'll cause plenty of problems for the Indians' offense. ...Marian vs. SB Riley: The Wildcats have won 3 of 4 and their only loss was 11-8 at Mishawaka. Riley easily the best of the South Bend public schools this year and it's been years since anyone has said that. This is a week for the Marian defense to step up and make a stand.

Area game capsules, courtesy of John Harrell's Indiana football website.

Concord (5-1) at Plymouth (4-2)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, The Rockpile (WTRC, 1340 AM, WTCA 1050).
COACHES: Tim Dawson, 171-105 in 25th year at Concord. John Barron, 73-32 in 10th year at Plymouth.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Concord, 68.21, 77th overall, 18th in Class 5A. Plymouth, 66.07, 86th overall, 18th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Concord lost to Jimtown, 35-14. Plymouth lost to Wawasee, 52-35.
VS. COMMON FOES: Concord 2-0, Plymouth 1-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Concord 12-24, Plymouth 23-13.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Plymouth, 11-8.
LAST MEETING: Plymouth, 31-28, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: Plymouth, 29-28.
Fort Wayne Snider (4-2) at Elkhart Central (2-4)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Rice Field.
COACHES: Kurt Tippmann, 46-14 in 5th year at Fort Wayne Snider. Levon Johnson, 13-24 in 4th year at Elkhart Central.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Fort Wayne Snider, 69.75, 64th overall, 14th in Class 5A. Elkhart Central, 57.03, 128th overall, 26th in Class 5A.
LAST OUTING: Fort Wayne Snider lost to Fort Wayne North, 27-13. Elkhart Central lost to Mishawaka, 28-13.
VS. COMMON FOES: Fort Wayne Snider 0-1, Elkhart Central 0-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Fort Wayne Snider 16-20, Elkhart Central 19-17.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Fort Wayne Snider, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Fort Wayne Snider, 66-51, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: Fort Wayne Snider, 31-17
NorthWood (3-3) at Elkhart Memorial (2-4)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Charger Field.
COACHES: Scott Hoover, 29-24 in 5th year at NorthWood. Bill Roggeman, 3-13 in 2nd year at Elkhart Memorial.
SAGARIN RATINGS: NorthWood, 56.36, 134th overall, 30th in Class 4A. Elkhart Memorial, 43.36, 199th overall, 32nd in Class 5A.
LAST OUTING: NorthWood lost to Northridge, 38-14. Elkhart Memorial defeated South Bend Clay, 35-13.
VS. COMMON FOES: NorthWood 1-1, Elkhart Memorial 1-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: NorthWood 21-15, Elkhart Memorial 15-21.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: NorthWood, 9-3.
LAST MEETING: NorthWood, 27-24, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: NorthWood, 28-14.
Culver (2-4) at Jimtown (4-2)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Knepp Field.
COACHES: Andrew Thomas, 40-44 in 8th year at Culver, 88-64 in 14th year overall. Mike_Campbell, 57-14 in 6th year at Jimtown.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Jimtown, 66.89, 84th overall, 12th in Class 3A. Culver, 34.74, 240th overall, 30th in Class 1A.
LAST OUTING: Culver lost to Knox, 21-20, overtime. Jimtown defeated Concord, 35-14.
VS. COMMON FOES: Culver 0-2, Jimtown 1-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Culver 20-16, Jimtown 22-14.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Jimtown, 15-0.
LAST MEETING: Jimtown, 49-0, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: Jimtown, 42-3.
Goshen (0-6) at Northridge (5-1)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Northridge field.
COACHES: Mike Cheviron, 6-21 in 3rd year at Goshen, 96-96 in 18th year overall. Tom Wogoman, 5-1 in 1st year at Northridge, 30-38 in 7th year overall.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Northridge, 69.68, 65th overall, 15th in Class 4A. Goshen, 40.76, 213th overall, 33rd in Class 5A.
LAST OUTING: Goshen lost to Warsaw, 34-12. Northridge defeated NorthWood, 38-14.
VS. COMMON FOES: Goshen 0-2, Northridge 2-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Goshen 20-16, Northridge 20-16.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Goshen, 12-3.
LAST MEETING: Goshen, 21-3, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: Northridge, 42-7
Penn (6-0) at South Bend St. Joseph (4-2)
GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, South Bend St. Joseph field (WGCS, 91.1 FM; WTRC. 95.3 FM).
COACHES: Cory Yeoman, 112-25 in 11th year at Penn. Ben Downey, 33-15 in 4th year at South Bend St. Joseph.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Penn, 95.93, 6th overall, 6th in Class 6A. South Bend St. Joseph, 75.74, 35th overall, 7th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Penn defeated South Bend Washington, 58-0. South Bend St. Joseph defeated Mishawaka Marian, 42-21.
VS. COMMON FOES: Penn 1-0, South Bend St. Joseph 1-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Penn 12-24, South Bend St. Joseph 17-19.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Penn, 8-0.
LAST MEETING: Penn, 38-10, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: Penn, 42-17.
Lakeland (6-0) at Fairfield (5-1)
GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Fairfield field.
COACHES: Keith Thompson, 56-31 in 9th year at Lakeland. Bob Miller, 77-49 in 12th year at Fairfield.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Lakeland, 53.64, 150th overall, 32nd in Class 3A. Fairfield, 43.28, 200th overall, 44th in Class 3A.
LAST OUTING: Lakeland defeated Eastside, 28-14. Fairfield defeated Angola, 53-14.
VS. COMMON FOES: Lakeland 6-0, Fairfield 5-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Lakeland 10-26, Fairfield 10-26.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Fairfield, 8-7.
LAST MEETING: Lakeland, 48-29, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: Lakeland, 35-24.
Wawasee (3-3) at Warsaw (4-2)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Fisher Field (WAWC, 103.5 FM).
COACHES: Josh Ekovich, 3-3 in 1st year at Wawasee. Phil Jensen, 80-62 in 14th year at Warsaw, 109-74 in 18th year overall.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Warsaw, 60.76, 106th overall, 30th in Class 6A. Wawasee, 57.57, 125th overall, 28th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Wawasee defeated Plymouth, 52-35. Warsaw defeated Goshen, 34-12.
VS. COMMON FOES: Wawasee 1-1, Warsaw 1-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Wawasee 25-11, Warsaw 18-18.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Warsaw, 8-7.
LAST MEETING: Wawasee, 14-13, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: Warsaw, 28-24
Mishawaka Marian (4-2) at South Bend Riley (3-3)
GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Jackson Field.
COACHES: Reggie Glon, 127-85 in 20th year at Mishawaka Marian. Brian Stultz, 7-20 in 3rd year at South Bend Riley, 18-50 in 7th year overall.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Mishawaka Marian, 68.81, 74th overall, 10th in Class 3A. South Bend Riley, 64.55, 90th overall, 20th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Mishawaka Marian lost to South Bend St. Joseph, 42-21. South Bend Riley defeated South Bend Adams, 23-0.
VS. COMMON FOES: Mishawaka Marian 2-0, South Bend Riley 2-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Mishawaka Marian 13-23, South Bend Riley 18-18.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Mishawaka Marian, 9-0.
LAST MEETING: Mishawaka Marian, 44-14, Sep. 28, 2012.
PREDICTION: Mishawaka Marian, 28-24.

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