Football: Jim Corkum blames bad coaching in Concord’s loss to Alvirne

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 10-07-2023 9:37 AM

CONCORD – Crimson Tide head coach Jim Corkum was quite blunt after his team lost 19-12 against Alvirne (2-3) on Friday night to fall to 1-4 in NHIAA play this season.

“It comes down to bad coaching,” he said. “I guess that’s the only thing I could put it on. I told the kids, it’s at the point in the season where we need to be getting better, and we’re not, and that falls on me as the coach. We’re not getting better, and other teams are, and that showed tonight.”

Although the final score shows just a seven-point loss, the Tide (1-4) never mounted a serious threat to the Broncos’ lead that was 13-0 at halftime and 19-6 with 7:11 left in the fourth quarter.

Concord committed nine penalties – of which eight were accepted – for 65 yards. That included an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, two defensive encroachments on third down and a too-many-men-on-the-field call when the Tide started a punt return formation with 13 players on the field.

Those woes came in addition to a fumble on the goal line in the third quarter. The Tide had opened the half recovering the kickoff after an Alvirne muff and cobbled together a nine-play, 38-yard drive over 5:11 of game clock that culminated with the turnover from QB Colby Nyhan on a goal line sneak attempt.

Overall on the evening, Nyhan completed seven of 11 passes for 62 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Cade Weaver. He also converted a TD on a QB sneak.

Meanwhile, Alvirne running back Aiden Mills carried the offense for the Broncos, finishing the game with 30 carries for 192 yards and all three touchdowns, on 43-, 10- and 39-yard runs.

Concord’s defense didn’t play that poorly, but the offense just could not sustain drives, a common theme throughout the season. After last year’s team averaged over 36 points per game in NHIAA play, this year’s offense has cratered to an average of just 16.2 points per contest. Having running back Eli Bahuma out certainly hasn’t helped, and injuries have seemingly taken a toll.

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“We’re trying to get guys in different spots to make plays, and (they’re) working hard, trying the best they can,” Corkum said. “We’re just coming up a little bit short.”

Things don’t get any easier next week when the Tide face arguably the top team in Division I, the Bedford Bulldogs. Having outscored opponents 244-13 in their 6-0 start, Bedford’s won every game by at least three touchdowns. The Tide have only scored 21 points or more in an NHIAA game once.

Still, with Concord seemingly moving in reverse, the final three games present the chance to put a better taste in their mouths heading into the offseason.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Corkum said, looking ahead. “It’s kind of up to us on how we want the rest of the season to go. We need to buckle down, and we can start improving and getting better, or we can just stay status quo while other teams get better, and the results aren’t going to be very good from that. We’ve got some reflecting to do as an entire program, and (I’m) just hoping we can finish on a positive note.”

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