CONCORD — Everything that could go wrong for Pinkerton did just that in a 42-14 Division 1 championship loss Saturday at Memorial Field to unbeaten Concord.
Costly fumbles, an interception, a blocked kick, penalties in key situations, tipped balls into the hands of an unintended receiver and an on-side kick that bounced high into the arms of a Concord linemen — it all happened to the Astros in what turned out to be a miserable game before an announced attendance of 5,684 fans.
The game started as if things would go Pinkerton’s way. The Astros kicked off, held Concord to negative-10 yards in three plays and then were the recipient of a shanked punt that went only 2 yards to the Crimson Tide’s 23 yard-line.
A 15-yard burst by Manny Latimore brought the ball down to the 8-yard-line, but Concord recovered a fumble on the next play and abruptly changed the momentum of the game, promptly driving 94 yards for its first of six touchdowns.
The key play on that first drive was a 46-yard pass from Rob Hall to ace receiver Seimou Smith (4 catches, 101 yards). Four plays later, shifty sophomore Leo Sudieh ran it in from 27 yards out for a 6-0 lead.
Pinkerton responded with its best drive of the game, of 64 yards, to take a 7-6 lead. A 12-yard pass from Jack Hanaway to Riley Cahill was pivotal on the drive, which sophomore T.J. Urbanik capped with a 5-yard run followed by a Kyle Cantalupo kick.
But the next two quarters were dominated by the Tide.
Concord drove 69 yards on its next possession only to be stopped by the Astros at the 11 yard-line. But three plays later, another recovered Pinkerton fumble led, two plays later, to a 5-yard scoring run by muscle man Walters Ndi (12 carries, 76 yards), making it 12-7.
A short punt on Pinkerton’s next series (which lost six yards) gave Concord the ball on the Astros’ 31 and, three plays later Ndi scored again, from 12 yards out.