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Concord strips the ball from Memorial’s Jaylin Rhodes (23) in the first half Friday, Nov. 1 during the 5A sectional game. Minutemen in on the play are Steven Gattman (53), Matt Moreno (25) and Michael McQueen (60). (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord’s Larry Smith (28) celebrates his first-half touchdown against Memorial Friday, Nov. 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's Jerrell Pointdexter (14) carries the ball as Memorial's Nathan Troutman (22) defends Friday, Nov 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord’s Matt Wilmore (8) tackles Memorial’s Myles Rosenberg (4) after Rosenberg’s interception Friday, Nov. 1, in the first half of their opening round sectional game. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's Kevin Moreno (5) checks his wrist band for the correct play in the first half against Memorial Friday, Nov. 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Memorial's Nathan Troutman (22) carries the ball against Concord Friday, Nov 1 during the 5A sectional game. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord assistant coach Sam Vaughn talks with his players on the sidelines Friday, Nov. 1during the sectional 5A game against Memorial. Ethan Beabout (50) and Wesley Lee (70) listen. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's Larry Smith (28) carries the ball as Memorial's TieShawn Johnson (45) defends Friday, Nov. during the 5A sectional game. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord head coach Tim Dawson keeps an eye on the game as his Minutemen take on Memorial in the 5A sectional game Friday, Nov 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Memorial's Nathan Troutman (22) runs with the ball against Concord in the opening round of the 5A sectional Friday, Nov. 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord long snapper Jake Kronk (32) calls our blocking assignments as the Minutemen get ready to punt against Memorial in the first half of the 5A sectional game Friday, Nov. 1. Memorial's TieShawn Johnson (45) defends. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's Brandon Thomas (6) runs with the ball as Memorial's Myles Rosenberg (4) tries to tackle int he first half of their opening round sectional game Friday, Nov. 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's Jason Gooms (4) is tackled by Memorial's Myles Rosenberg (4) Friday, Nov. 1 in the first half. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's Jake Kronk (32) and Curtis Brown-Watson tackle Memorial's Jaylin Rhodes during the first half of the 5A sectional game Friday, Nov. 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's Michael McQueen (60) and Matt Moreno (25) tackle Memorial's Gene Peek Friday, Nov. 1 (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's (60) Michael McQueen battles with Memorial's Bre'don Nickoson (78) during the 5A sectional game Friday, Nov. 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Concord's Larry Smith (28) runs for the Minutemen's first half touchdown as Memorial's Jared Peek (20) and Gene Peek (21) defend Friday, Nov. 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Memorial's head coach Bill Roggeman reacts to a play in the first half against Concord Friday, Nov. 1. (Truth Photo By J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)
Concord clicks when it counts
Posted on Nov. 1, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

DUNLAP — Concord got the most critical prize being chased, the win — and with it a first-ever high school football meeting next week against Elkhart Central — while Elkhart Memorial got some of the improvement it’s been chasing.

The stubbed-up Minutemen fought off the stubborn Crimson Chargers for a 23-7 Class 5A sectional semifinal home victory Friday, Nov. 1, at Jake Field.

No. 7-ranked Concord (8-2) faces the Blue Blazers (4-6) in next Friday’s sectional final at Rice Field. The neighboring schools have never met in the more than 40 years that each has fielded a program.

The Minutemen played the semifinal minus four injured starters, including quarterback Trevor Wilmore, who is expected back next week.

They led the Chargers just 9-0 at the half — and that was with the two Concord scores being set up by takeaways that gave the hosts the ball at the Memorial 32 and 25 — but then added an electric 64-yard punt return for a touchdown from Jerrell Pointdexter and a 40-yard Larry Smith scoring run in the third quarter for a 23-0 advantage.

Smith also scored on a 23-yard scamper in the first quarter, while Ryan Tepe got the night’s opening points with his 40-yard field goal.

The Chargers (2-8) scored a TD with 45 seconds left in the game to avoid the shutout.

“We sputtered on offense, but we knew our defense could stop them,” Concord coach Tim Dawson said after advancing to at least the sectional final round for the fifth straight year. “We really did sputter at times, but I figured it would be like that. They had two weeks to prepare for us, and I thought they did a good job defensively.”

“We had that bye week and really had two good weeks of practice,” said Memorial coach Bill Roggeman, whose team had lost to the Minutemen 38-7 in Week 2. “I think the kids enjoyed having the time to just concentrate on us. We made some improvements with some of the things we were screwing up earlier in the season. We were able to execute a lot better. A loss is a loss, but we played a lot better tonight than we have.”

“They brought it, they really brought it, they came hard,” Smith said of the Chargers. “I thought at the beginning (of the game), we were sleeping a little bit, but we brought it in the second half.”

Concord 23, Memorial 7

Scoring by Quarters

Memorial 0 0 0 7 — 7

Concord 9 0 14 0 — 23

School — Scoring Play

First Quarter

C — Ryan Tepe 40 field goal, 4:25.

C — Larry Smith 23 run; kick failed, 1:51.

Third Quarter

C — Jerrell Pointdexter 64 punt return; Tepe kick, 5:39.

C — Smith 40 run; Tepe kick, 2:11.

Fourth Quarter

M — Nathan Troutman 27 pass from Jefffery Sindle; David Doyle kick, 0:45.

Officials: Mike Monhan, Chris Ronan, John Walczewski, Ron Otolski, Darin Metcalf.

Team Statistics Me Co

Net yards rushing 38 94

Net yards passing 121 56

Total Yards 159 150

First Downs 9 9

Fumbles-Lost 3-1 3-3

Penalties 5-55 7-55

Individual Leaders

Memorial: Rushing — Nathan Troutman 6-22, TieShawn Johnson 2-16. Passing — Troutman 6-13-61 (1 int.), Trevor Trowbridge 4-8-33 (0 int.), Jeffery Sindle 1-4-27 (0 int.). Receiving — Izayah Newsom 3-54, Troutman 3-32, Jaylin Rhodes 1-15, David Doyle 1-10, Chris Kale 2-10. Fumble recoveries — team, Newsom, Jared Peek. Interception — Myles Rosenberg.

Concord: Rushing — Larry Smith 10-91. Passing — Jason Grooms 6-9-41 (0 int.), Cullen Fisher 3-9-15 (1 int). Receiving — Jerrell Pointdexter 5-29, Adam Glanders 3-14, Brandon Thomas 1-13. Fumble recovery — Nick DeFreese. Interception — Pointdexter.