FORT WAYNE – Thus ends a Bishop Dwenger football autumn; one with a forgettable record, but a season to remember, nevertheless.
Six wins and seven losses is often the bottom line for the other guys – the ones that the tradition-wealthy Saints ceremoniously knock from the football playoffs into basketball season. But after Fridays 35-21 loss to Concord in the Class 4A regional, Dwengers 2012 version sprinted from the Zollner Stadium field with a losing record for the first time since 2000, when it was 5-6.
Injuries, mostly at the quarterback position where the starter and backup went down before the season began, leaving sophomore Cody Miller to learn on the fly, thrust the Saints in immediate catch-up mode. And even to the bitter end, when Millers final pass of the season was intercepted with 44.2 seconds remaining deep in Concord territory, Dwenger was trying to catch up.
Adversity has kind of been the title of this season, said junior running back Ryan Cinadr, who scored all three Dwenger touchdowns. Weve kind of pushed through – keep working, keep working.
We just came out and wanted to play hard. We came out and showed that in sectionals; came out in the regionals and gave it all we got. Concord just kind of figured us out a little too well.
Even though Dwenger took a 21-14 lead into halftime – all on touchdown runs from Cinadr – it was shut down in the second as Concord (11-2) outscored the Saints 21-0 in the final two quarters.
Just as Cinadr was Dwengers offensive answer on touchdown runs of 4 yards and 13 and then 37 more on the back end of a hook-and-ladder play, Concord had the perfect answer in junior quarterback Trevor Wilmore, who ran for 180 yards, including touchdown runs of 78, 1 and 29 yards.
Hes a great player, isnt he? Dwenger coach Chris Svarczkopf said. He wasnt the starter at the beginning of the season.
I was talking with (Concord) coach (Tim) Dawson about this before the game: Tell me how this young man beat out a returning starter? No. 10 (who didnt play) came in with over a thousand yards passing, but No. 7 (Wilmore) is able to extend plays, and thats what coach Dawson said. Hes able to keep plays alive, and thats where he hurt us.
Dwenger had leads of 7-0 and 14-7, then flashed some razzle-dazzle with 1:30 left in the first half to go up 21-14.
On a first down at the Concord 47, Miller tossed a 10-yard pass to Keenan Centlivre. The dazzle came when, as soon as he caught the ball, Centlivre, with his back to the end zone, gave a perfect touch-pass to the trailing Cinadr, who ran the remaining 37 yards for the touchdown.
It would be the last football hurrah for the 12 Saints.
If they realize were not always in control of everything and we take every day and do best we can, then footballs a means to an end, Svarczkopf said. Its a great way to learn how to be a young man and be a team. Bad things are going to happen, and you just have to keep playing. I was really proud. This group did. It just kept playing. Theyre a fun group to coach.