Jeff Harvey

I’d thought that I would look at two recent Concord University football games to analyze the program this year to date. By analyze I don’t mean criticize, because I think head coach Paul Price, his staff and the players are doing as well as they can to solve the problems.

The September 14 game at Callaghan Stadium between the Mountain Lions and the Frostburg State (Md.) Bobcats, a game won by FS 52-14.The win was the first win for the Bobcats at the NCAA Division II level, after moving up from the NCAA Division III level in the spring.

Frostburg State (1-1, 1-1 MEC) led just 21-14 at the half and then exploded for 31 unanswered points in the second half to cruise to the victory..

FSU rushed for 195 yards and five touchdowns in the victory. Gavin Lavat led the way with 141 yards and three scores. Malcom Facey and Aizsha Horne each added TD runs. Bobcat QB Will Brunson was a tidy 14-of-20 for 217 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Note: Concord, until this past Saturday, had trouble stopping the run.

The Frostburg State defense held Concord (0-2, 0-2 MEC) to just 245 yards of total offense. Carl Igweh had six total tackles, including three solo tackles for a loss. Michael Bell had an interception return for a touchdown to help aid the effort for the Bobcats.

Kyle Akin was 14-of-23 for 169 yards for Concord. He was picked off once and sacked twice. Joshua Maxwell had 104 yards on the ground with a touchdown. Dwain Porterfield had a game-high 10 tackles on the day.

Note: Akin missed the Glenville State game due to injury and was pulled from this game. Matt Shearer finished the game out and played the entire Glenville State game.

The Bobcats scored on two of their first three drives to lead 14-0 with four minutes left in the first quarter. However, undeterred CU marched down inside the red zone on the ensuing drive only to have a field goal blocked by FSU. But on the next Concord possession, the Mountain Lions covered 88 yards in just 2:26 to get on the board after a 30-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Joshua Maxwell.

While Maxwell had an explosive play to find the end zone, senior wide receiver Brandon Plyler had 53 yards worth of receptions on the drive including a 24-yard catch and run to get CU out of the shadow of its own goal post.

Note: Maxwell missed Saturday’s game against West Virginia State due to injury.

FSU came right back with a touchdown to retake a two-score lead, and appeared as if it may take the same 21-7 lead into halftime. But with 1:15 left in the second quarter, junior linebacker Dwain Porterfield intercepted his first career pass and ran back to the Frostburg State 25-yard line. Three plays later the Mountain Lions scored on a seven-yard rush by junior wide receiver Tywan Pearce.

Note: Pearce also missed Saturday’s game due to injury.

Seemingly with a bulk of the momentum to start the third quarter, CU had the momentum stolen away as the Bobcats returned the opening kick of the third quarter back to the Concord 32-yard line as it started a 24-point third quarter for Frostburg State.

Note: Price said the third quarter of this game was “historically bad”.

Maxwell tallied his third career 100-yard rushing game with 104 yards on 18 carries to go with the touchdown. Plyler went over the century mark with seven receptions for 108 yards. Saturday marked the first time the Mountain Lions had a 100-yard receiving and 100-yard rushing game in the same contest since the season finale of the 2015 campaign against West Virginia State.

Porterfield finished with a team-best 10 tackles to go with his interception. Junior defensive lineman JT Turner had five tackles and a fumble recovery in the game.

Note: Porterfield has been the defensive MVP for Concord to date. He leads the team in tackles following in the footsteps of predecessors Jake Lilly and Zach Malone. The defensive line, of which Turner is a part, rotates eight player in and out.

-The best game to date for the Concord Mountain Lions saw them take the Glenville State Pioneers to overtime at Harris Stadium where they lost 27-20 Saturday.

Note: It’s Morris Stadium, not Harris Stadium. My mistake.

The Mountain Lions (0-3, 0-3) actually got on the board first as Luke Walls hit a 23-yard field goal to make the score 3-0 CU at the 10:27 point of the first quarter.

Glenville (2-1, 1-1) tied the score 3-3 as Justin Watts hit a 48-yard field goal with 11:17 left in the half.

A bit of trickery led to the next CU score as James Monroe High School alumnus Grant Mohler took a direct snap on a fake punt at the Concord 49-yard line and ran 49 yards to the GS 2-yard line.. Two plays later, following a penalty and a loss, Derek Kincaid ran it in from the 10-yard line at the 6:58 point of the half, making the score 10-3 (Walls kick).

Note: Price is really high on Kincaid as the second back in the running back rotation that Concord has used forever.

A big special teams play, a 32-yard kickoff return by the Pioneers’ Darnell Jackson, set up the tying score. Nine plays later, Tim Heltzel connected with Edward Webber for a 19-yard score to even the game 10-10 (Watts kick) with 2:58 left in the half.

The Pioneers used their advantage in the passing game to good effect in the first drive of the third quarter as Heltzel hit Javon Butler with a 46-yard score, making it 17-10 GS (Watts kick) with 11: 52 in the third. The drive featured a 14-yard pass from Heltzel to Issac Myers on fourth and one at the Concord 48-yard line.

Concord set up their next score via defense as D’Anthony Muse forced a fumble by Mario Pender which was recovered by Imani Moore. Eight plays later, Walls hit a 29-yard field goal to make the score 17-13 GS with 6:11 left in the third. The drive was kept alive by a fourth-and-four 7-yard pass from Matt Shearer to Tywan Pierce.

The final Pioneer score in regulation time came via the foot of Watts as he hit a 24-yard field goal with :02 left in the quarter, making it 20-13 GS. The drive featured Heltzel passes of 15 yards to Pender, 16 yards to Robert Johnson and 15 yards to Austin Ratliff.

The final regulation score was from the CU defense as Moore stripped Butler of the ball, recovered it and ran 81-yards for the tying score at 20-all( (Walls kick) with 4:24 left in regulation.

Both Walls and Watts missed field goals in the fourth ,Walls from40 yards and Watts missed the potential game winning score from 37 yards out.

In overtime, Glenville scored on the first play from scrimmage as Heltzel hit Ratliff for a 25-yard score making it 27-20 (Watts kick) The Concord possession ended when Shearer’s pass was intercepted by Delonte Hood.

Heltzel went 28-38 for 333 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Pender rushed for 58 yards on 19 attempts. Raliff caught eight passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. Samuel Thomas had eight tackles five solo.

Note: Concord’s pass defense had their weakest showing to date as Heltzel was the first quarterback to throw for over 300 yards against them in a game. He’s the only one to date.

For Concord, Shearer went 17 for 39 with 121 yards and three interceptions in his first start. Mohler led in rushing with 49 yards .Perace had nine receptions for 59 yards. Dwain Porterfield had 10 tackles eight solo. Moore had nine tackles to go with his two recovered fumbles.

I won’t lie. It’s been an exercise in frustration to watch Concord these last few years as both a journalist and an alumnus. They’ve got good pieces for a successful program and I

thought that despite the injuries to Maxwell, Pearce and others that they’d win Saturday.

Contact Jeff Harvey delimartman@yahoo.com

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