DUNLAP — When Trevor Wilmore takes off with the football and looks to pass, whether it be a planned play or a scrambling dash, he knows he’s got capable hands waiting downfield.
Dakota Simon and Adam Glanders know right where to go. And they make plays.
What makes Concord football coach Tim Dawson the proudest, though, is his receivers’ ability to block.
When Wilmore broke off a 78-yard TD run early in last Friday’s regional win at Dwenger, downfield blocks paved the way. The Minutemen coach hopes to get the same kind of effort Friday night in the 4A semistate game with Mishawaka.
“The biggest thing that’s happened for them is blocking. Just watch the Dwenger game,” Dawson said. “The reason we were able to get outside to the perimeter is because our receivers blocked.
“They want to catch, of course, and have been there when we needed them to do that, but where they’ve really developed and why we’re still playing is they’ve done a great job of blocking.
“People don’t see it,” Dawson said, “but we see it on film.”
Glanders, a junior, is a big-play threat with 53 catches and nine touchdowns.
Simon, a senior, has 33 receptions — the same as tight end Franko House. When defenses cover Glanders deep and House short, Simon’s been the money set of hands to pick up key first downs.
If it’s third-and-seven, be on the lookout for Simon.
“He knows where the sticks are,” Dawson said. “He knows if we’re in a scramble or Trevor’s on a scramble, to get open. They have that chemistry. He’s that inside receiver guy who doesn’t get a lot of press because you’ve got Glanders out there making spectacular catches and touchdowns.”
“Adam and I make good in the scrambles ... we’ve really worked hard on it,” Simon said. “I’ve always known my role. I’ve made it even more important and worked my hardest to help the team the best I can.”
Dawson points to all of the “Zero Hour” sessions starting back in March — the 6 a.m. conditioning workouts — plus voluntary time in the practice gyms between quarterbacks and receivers.
Wilmore and Ryan McKibbin, the senior starter at QB for six games to begin the season, worked with Glanders, Simon, Chris Martin and Timmy Yoder with simple pass-catch repetitions.
“To run the spread, you have to have that pitch-catch. That’s them making the investment,” Dawson said.
The time put in added to Wilmore’s physical growth and learning experience have made Concord click for six consecutive weeks.
“They’ve done great all year ... they’ve been great in the scrambling routes. They’ve gotten open and they definitely made it easy for me to find them,” said Wilmore, a junior. “One of the biggest things is how much I’ve grown. I was small last year. When I took a hit it was like, ‘Wow, I don’t want to get up.’ That’s helped my composure, plus every rep helps.”
“Dakota and I knew we had to step up. So far, (Wilmore) has done a great job,” Glanders said. “Teams don’t know if he’s going to run or throw, but if we’re open, he can connect with us.”
Dawson says he likes the variety the offense has shown in the tournament run and he appreciates the way McKibbin has handled the transition. In all, he thinks the Minutemen are a more balanced offense now.
“Ryan’s been a team player. He could have been a bad teammate, but it’s not been that way, he continues to punt well for us,” Dawson said, “and I think Trevor has helped DuWhan (Alford) be a better back.
“We want teams to look at us and say, ‘Hey, we have a lot to defend, too.’”
Mishawaka at Concord
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Jake Field, Concord High School.
Records: Mishawaka 10-3, Concord 11-2.
Streaks: Mishawaka has won 8 straight games; Concord has won 6 straight games.
Series: First meeting.
Advancement: Winner to play either Cathedral (8-5) or Columbus East (13-0) for 4A state championship on Nov. 24.
Radio: WSBT 96.1, 960.
TV: WHME, tape delay (11 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday).
Web: www.broadcastsport.net, www.wsbt.com.
Rushing — Sam Schrader 234-1,409 (24 TDs), Tyler McDaniel 184-1,171 (11 TDs). Passing — Schrader 28-66-545 (8 TDs) Receiving — Matt Carver 16-339 (5 TDs), Angelo Multari 5-91 (2 TDs). Tackles — Wesley LaFluer 49 solos, 68 assists, Cameron Thomas 51-62, Tanner Bradley 44-64, Erik Escobedo 36-53.
Rushing— DuWhan Alford 168-1,171 (16 TDs), Trevor Wilmore 112-903 (14 TDs). Passing — Wilmore 73-130-1,002 (8 TDs); Ryan McKibbin 75-156-1,109 (10 TDs). Receiving — Adam Glanders 53-850 (9 TDs), Dakota Simon 33-473 (3 TDs), Franko House 33-365 (3 TDs).