By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Concord head coach Tim Dawson says if Mishawaka was playing any team other than his Minutemen this week in the high school football playoffs, he would be pulling for the Cavemen.
The Minutemen (11-2) host Mishawaka (10-3) Friday night in the Class 4A northern semistate. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Jake Field in Dunlap. At stake is a berth in the state championship contest on Saturday, Nov. 24 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
“It’s rather unique to have two local teams meeting in the semistate,” Dawson said. “The two times we have played in the semistate before it was against Plymouth and Fort Wayne Dwenger.”
“As a coach you want all other coaches and players to have the chance to play for a state title. I would love to see Mishawaka have that chance. Just not this week against us. This week I’m being stingy.”
The Minutemen have won all three previous semistates they have played in, defeating Fort Wayne Dwenger 21-12 in 1984, Plymouth 35-14 in 1998 and Dwenger 48-21 in 200-6.
The only other semistate Mishawka has ever played in was in 1991 when the Cavemen dropped a 41-0 decision to Penn.
Dawson expressed his feelings about playing at home.
“We are glad to be here, but at this level of the tournament I really don’t think it’s an advantage other than we don’t have to get on a bus Friday night,” the coach explained. “We lost to Plymouth at home and have won games on the road. We are doing the same things this week to prepare for the game as we have done for every other game this year. The only thing that is different is the stakes are a little higher this week.”
Concord and Mishawaka have never met on the gridiron during the regular season or in the playoffs, but the two schools have scrimmaged each other.
“Our scrimmage has been with Mishawaka ever since the scrimmages started,” Dawson said. “We have an idea of what they are going to do and they also have a good idea of what we want to do.”
Mishawaka coach Bart Curtis is a grad of NorthWood High School. He is in his fifth season at the school and has a 47-15 record. This is his 22nd season as a head coach (158-82).
“I have the utmost respect for Bart and what he has done at Mishawaka,” Dawson said. “We know each other from our work in the IFCA (Indiana Football Coaches Association).
“We had a little dose of what Mishawaka tries to do on offense