KENDALLVILLE — All Ryan Tepe needed was a little quiet time. Not necessarily a timeout, but a little quiet time.
All the Concord sophomore was about to do was mull over a last-second, game-winning kick in a sectional football game.
But with 16 seconds left in Friday night’s Class 4A game at East Noble, Tepe patiently waited through a Knight timeout, got a little pep talk from head coach Tim Dawson and then casually drilled a 33-yard field goal to give the Minutemen a wild 38-35 survival victory.
A kick which no one thought would be necessary after Concord piled up 28 third-quarter points and a 35-14 lead with 12 minutes to go.
And a kick Tepe had to make after he’d already mishit a 35-yarder earlier in the game.
Tepe said he blocked out the earlier miss.
“I had been struggling with kicks
my placement has been off,’’ Tepe said. “Coach Dawson talked to me. I blocked that out. He said I was going to make a difference tonight. I had to step up and make a play.
“It was kind of hard, but Coach talked to me and calmed me down.”
It was the only calm moment in an otherwise frenetic second-half display by both teams.
After a less-than-thrilling 7-7 first half, Concord’s Desmond Love ignited an action-packed second-half by returning the kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. East Noble tied the game again at 14 only minutes later before things really got hairy.
A fumble recovery by DuWhan Alford and an interception by Taylor Miller led to TD runs by Alford and quarterback Trevor Wilmore for a 35-14 lead after three periods.
Dawson, though, was still very uneasy given East Noble’s quick, no-huddle offense and wide-open passing game.
“You can ask them. I pulled the whole team over at the end of the third quarter when we were up 35-14 and said, hey, this game isn’t over,’’ Dawson said. “We’ve got 12 minutes of football to play and if we don’t keep our heads in it, they’ll get right back into it.’’
Dawson was right.
In a five-minute span, the Knights passed, ran and used an onside kick to ring up three touchdowns to knot the game at 35 with 3:09 to play.
With Wilmore using short passes to Dakota Simon and Franko House and clever running of his own, the Minutemen moved the ball from their own 27 to the East Noble 16, setting up Tepe’s game-deciding kick.
“It was a tremendous effort in all three phases,” said Dawson, whose team will take on Northridge in a sectional semifinal next Friday. “Ryan’s a great kicker, he’s struggled a bit, but he zinged it right through there.”
Concord (8-2) survived a 352-yard passing effort by East Noble’s Nic Weimer, who fired 47 passes.
Alford and Wilmore combined for 198 of Concord’s 208 rushing yards.
Concord 38, East Noble 35
Scoring by Quarters
Concord 0 7 28 3 — 38
East Noble 7 0 7 21 — 35
School — Scoring Play
E — Eli Parks 45 pass from Nic Weimer; Tyler Householder kick 6:25.
C — Adam Glanders 3 pass from Trevor Wilmore; Ryan Tepe kick, 0:03.
C — Desmond Love 81 kickoff return; Tepe kick, 11:47.
E — Grey Fox 49 pass from Weimer; Householder kick, 10:43.
C — Glanders 8 pass from Wilmore; Tepe kick, 5:21.
C — DuWhan Alford 27 run; Tepe kick, 2:45.
C — Wilmore 3 run; Tepe kick, 0:14
EN — Lake Clark 16 pass from Weimer; Householder kick, 8:02.
EN — Brandon Mable 5 run; Householder kick, 6:30.
EN — Mable 62 run; Householder kick, 3:09.
C — Tepe 33 field goal, 0:16
Team Statistics Co EN
Net yards rushing 208 99
Net yards passing 184 352
Total Yards 392 451
First Downs 20 18
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties 9-74 5-70
Concord: Rushing — DuWhan Alford 21-108, 1 TD; Trevor Wilmore 21-90, 1 TD. Passing — Wilmore 15-29-184, 2 TD. Receiving — Dakota Simon 4-101, Franko House 5-45.
East Noble: Rushing — Brandon Mable 14-108, 2 TD. Passing — Nic Weimer 28-47-352, 2 TDs, 1 INT. Receiving — Grey Fox 13-168, Clark 5-50, Eli Parks 3-58.