The Concord ‘Jackets and Maple Valley Lions both look to be improved teams this fall. It was unsurprising that these two clubs treated their fans to a thrilling battle on Friday. In the end, a late touchdown carried Concord to an 18-16 victory.

In the first quarter, the defenses set the tone early. With just under a minute to go in the first quarter, Concord finally broke onto the scoreboard. They blocked a Lions’ punt, recovering the loose football in the end zone. A failed conversion left the score at 6-0 ‘Jackets.

Early in the second quarter, Maple Valley took the lead. Ayden Wilkes tossed a 35-yard touchdown to Camden CarpenterTyler Rose added a conversion run, giving the Lions an 8-6 halftime edge.

Maple Valley would extend their lead late in the third quarter. Andrew Shepard carried the football across the goal line for his first touchdown of the 2022 campaign. Wilkes found Reese Proctor on the conversion pass. The Lions led 16-6 with just 14 minutes to play.

Just forty seconds of gametime later, Concord trimmed the deficit. Logan Lamb bolted past the Maple Valley defense, racing 47 yards to the end zone. A failed conversion left Concord behind 16-12 as the game entered the final quarter.

With nine minutes left, the ‘Jackets’ top scoring combination finally connected. Anthony Evans found Mekhi Wingfield on a 26-yard touchdown strike. This score put Concord ahead for good.

Logan Lamb (79) and Anthony Evans (78) shouldered the load on the ground for Concord. Evans completed nine passes, six to Mekhi Wingfield (83) and three to Logan Lamb (79).

Ayden Wilkes led Maple Valley in rushing (50) and passing (179). Andrew Shepard added 43 yards on the ground. Camden Carpenter paced the receivers with 89 yards.

Concord (3-1) will look to remain undefeated in Tri-River play when they take on Vandercook Lake next week. Maple Valley (1-3) will look to rebound as they face a extremely talented Northpointe Christian club.