BRANDYWINE HUNDRED Look out, Blue Hen Flight A. Mount Pleasant is for real.
The Green Knights pulled off their second conference shocker in a row on Saturday, erasing a 12-point deficit in the final eight minutes to dampen Concord’s homecoming with a 21-19 victory.
Mount Pleasant quarterback Jashawn Johnson threw three touchdown passes to Ronald Shipman-Scott, but there was more to it than that. After giving up big chunks of yardage through the first three quarters, the Green Knights’ defense held the Raiders to 3 total yards in the final quarter.
“It was one of our points of emphasis all week in practice, that our defense is already pretty good, but now you’ve got to step it up a notch,” Mount Pleasant coach Randy Holmes said. “They were going to run the ball at you, at you, at you, and we had to be better tacklers.”
The defensive stops paved the way for Johnson and Shipman-Scott, who proved to be an unstoppable combination. Mount Pleasant’s Rob Myrick caught four passes for 132 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 35-34 victory over Newark, so Concord was determined to stop him.
“Everybody knew they were going to double cover Rob,” Holmes said. “They had somebody under, somebody over the top. So we told Ronald, ‘Now it’s going to be your show.’”
That show started after the Raiders opened with two textbook, pound-it-out drives. Concord took the first 7:12 off the clock on a 15-play, 73-yard march, and used six more plays to cover 42 yards the next time. Brandon Dennis scored both of the touchdowns — the first from the 11, the second from the 1 — to give the Raiders a 13-0 lead with 11:18 remaining in the second quarter.
Johnson went deep on Mount Pleasant’s play, and a Concord defensive back got a hand on the ball. It didn’t matter, as Shipman-Scott hauled in the tipped pass for a 65-yard score.
It stayed that way until the second half, when Concord built its lead. Jared Hill barely kept a foot inbounds for a 34-yard catch, and quarterback Bob White pushed it in on a 2-yard keeper for a 19-7 cushion with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
That was it for the Raiders’ offense, but the Green Knights were far from finished. Johnson and Shipman-Scott hooked up for a 12-yard touchdown, then connected again on an unlikely two-point play after a bad snap. Shipman-Scott’s leaping grab pulled Mount Pleasant within 19-15 with 7:54 to play.
The Green Knights got the ball back with 4:42 left, and Johnson went to work with his arm and his legs. The junior threw to Shipman-Scott for 16 yards, then broke free for a 29-yard scramble. Then, with the Concord defense concentrating on the outside receivers, Johnson found Shipman-Scott wide open over the middle for a 22-yard score and a 21-19 lead with 2:30 remaining.
“I know he hadn’t had a lot of action in the first two games, but we felt like they couldn’t cover him one-on-one,” Johnson said of Shipman-Scott.
The fourth-ranked Raiders (2-1, 1-1 Flight A) got two more chances, but went nowhere. Sean Carroll intercepted Concord’s last pass to preserve the win for the eighth-ranked Green Knights (3-0, 2-0).
The Raiders were left to pick up the pieces.
“It easy when you win. It’s how you respond to a tough loss,” Concord coach Greg Mitchell said. “One loss is not going to make our season. This is a rivalry, against guys they know, homecoming and all of that stuff. … They’re disappointed, but I think we’ll bounce back.”
Shipman-Scott finished with four catches for 115 yards, and Johnson rushed 11 times for 63 yards. Grahm Roberts pounded between the tackles for 153 yards on 27 carries for the Raiders. Avery Roberts, Concord’s All-State linebacker, left the game in the first half with a leg injury and did not return.
Top-ranked, defending Division I champion William Penn is next up for Mount Pleasant, which will try to keep the magic going at home at 2 p.m. next Saturday.
“We’ve got a lot of heart, and we’re not going to let anybody put us down,” Shipman-Scott said. “We’re not underdogs. This Flight A, we’re going to make a mark.”
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com . Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ