From staff reports
TRAVERSE CITY — To be the No. 1 team in the district, Traverse City Central must beat the No. 1 team in the state.
The Trojans, coming off a scintillating 48-47 double overtime win over Bay City Western, travel to top-ranked and unbeaten Midland tonight in the Division 2 district final.
"We've had fun this week in practice," TC Central coach Tom Passinault said. "Practicing in Week 11, it's something different for our program. We're going to play loose and see what happens."
Midland (10-0) is coming off a 42-7 win over Marquette. The Chemics held the Redmen to 156 yards and six first downs. Midland racked up 380 total yards.
Leading the way for Midland is Steven Elmer, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound lineman who verbally committed to Notre Dame.
"Our plan won't be any different," Passinault said. "We are what we are at Week 11. We'll get after them."
TC Central (9-1) has been battling injuries the past couple of weeks. Josiah Lopez-Wild will be back after missing two weeks. The Trojans are hopeful of having center Joey Corcoran, running back T.J. Schwannecke and receiver Drew Reamer back. Corcoran has been out two games, while Schwannecke and Reamer were hurt last week.
"You just have to play on, and somebody else has to step in for them," Passinault said.
The Trojans will look to duplicate T.J. Schepperly's big game from a week ago, while looking to clean things up defensively.
"We've got to get Schepperly loose and play good defense," Passinault said. "We can't turn the ball over and have penalties like we did early last week. Being on the road tends to be harder to combat a slow start. We want to start out strong and just play a good football game."
In last week's win over Bay City Western, Schepperly rushed for 250 yards.
"We always have a chance with T.J. handling the snaps," Passinault said.
The Trojans and Chemics were the only teams to beat Bay City Western this year.