Mmm, Mmm good.
Ethan Campbell was that and more Friday night at Thirlby Field.
The Traverse City Central sophomore, a supporting cast member in the season’s first five games, took on a leading role before an overflow crowd in sparking the Trojans to a rousing 42-28 Big North Conference win over arch-rival Traverse City West.
Campbell figured in the scoring four different ways, giving coach Tom Passinault his biggest win at Central.
Combining speed, power and vision, Campbell scored on a 99-yard kick return, a 22-yard run, a 33-yard pass from T.J. Schepperly and — for his encore — tossed a 28-yard halfback pass to T.J. Schwannecke on a 4th down play with 5:26 remaining that sealed it.
Campbell came into the game with 14 carries for 128 yards — his entire season total. On Friday, he toted the ball 14 times for 107 yards .
He was a difference-maker on a night that Central needed a pickup after losing one of its best players to injury. Linebacker-fullback Nate Pupel suffered a deep thigh bruise in last Friday’s win at Ogemaw Heights and was unable to go in this showdown.
Enter Campbell, who made the most of his opportunity.
“We lost Nate Pupel, so I started running some more and I shined,” Campbell said. “I did what I could for my team to win.”
Did he ever.
Campbell’s impact was almost immediate. After West scored on its opening drive, Campbell returned the ensuing kick for a touchdown, taking the momentum away from the Titans.
“I’ve never felt anything like it,” Campbell said. “It was the greatest thing ever. I was so pumped.’
And that was just the start.
His 22-yard scoring run came with just 35.8 seconds left before half and it gave the Trojans a 21-7 lead. Campbell had a big run just before that to setup the score. Those two bursts came after it looked like Central might just try to run out the clock.
Campbell’s third tally, the 33-yard pass reception, came after the Titans, trying to keep the ball away from Schepperly and Schwannecke, netted just nine yards on a punt that went out of bounds at the Titans 25.
Schepperly and Campbell made the Titans pay for it, too.
West tried to mount a seismic comeback behind quarterback Donny Cizek. The Titans went to a no-huddle spread attack and quickly struck for two scores to tighten the game at 28-21.
With Cizek’s ability to throw, the Titans never seemed out of it. He finished 17 of 27 for 390 yards and three touchdowns.
But Schepperly dashed 60 yards for a touchdown and then Campbell’s pass to Schwannecke on the Trojans next possession put it away.
It, obviously, was a big win for Central. The two teams entered the contest with identical 4-1 overall records, 3-0 in the Big North. Much was at stake.
Central played with an attitude. Sometimes the aggressive play backfired — the Trojans were flagged with some inopportune penalties — but that passion carried the team.
The Titans, meanwhile, had two first-half turnovers in Central territory that thwarted drives, and eventually put them in a hole.
Overall, the fans — officials estimated the crowd at about 9,000 — certainly were entertained on a beautiful fall night for football.
And in the process, a new name emerged.
Mmm, Mmm good.
UPDATE: Northwestern, Chemical banks merge
The Grand Traverse region’s burgeoning economy sparked the proposed merger of Northwestern and Chemical banks in a deal that will cause layoffs.Continued ...
Quartet crosses ice to N. Manitou
A moment of pure terror surged through Tom Bisbee when the ice cracked beneath his feet. The cold came next as he plunged into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan nearly 1.5 miles from the nearest piece of dry land.Continued ...
Hearing planned for Garfield theater complex
The public will have a chance to comment on one of the area’s largest post-recession development projects.Continued ...
3 injured in separate crashes
A Mayfield man remains hospitalized after a snowmobile crashed into a shore station at a frozen southern Michigan lake.Continued ...
Kingsley oil well erupts in flames
A mechanical problem likely sparked a spectacular eruption of flames from an oil and natural gas well near Kingsley, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official said.Continued ...
Attic fire damages East Bay Township home
A fire destroyed most of an East Bay Township home’s roof before firefighters extinguished the blaze.Continued ...
Rec authority seeks facility manager
The joint recreational authority of Traverse City and Garfield Township won’t wait for a $650,000 makeover of the Cathedra Barn to start planning events.Continued ...
- Monday, March 10, 2014
Sheriff: GPS led Canadian duo astray
A craving for milkshakes and faulty GPS directions turned a young Canadian duo's late night quest to find a McDonald's restaurant into an overnight misadventure along a Kalkaska back road.Continued ...
Inuit art collectors make the trip
To say Ann Conway loves Inuit art is an understatement. Every available space in her Traverse area townhouse is covered with intricately carved figurines.Continued ...
Winner dedicated to social work, ed.
This year's recipient of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award was so shocked to be selected by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission that she called back the chairwoman two days later to make sure she'd correctly heard the news.Continued ...
Frat takes to road for MS
Quentin Callahan slumped in the corner of a booth at Mackinac Brewing, eyes closed, hood over his head.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 9, 2014
Zoning question to delay decision
A decision whether to use a city-owned warehouse for an emergency homeless shelter likely will extend into summer as city planners devise a new zoning ordinance.Continued ...
Heroin floods court docket
Another day, another heroin case. Illegal drugs inundated Grand Traverse County’s court docket last week.Continued ...
Taxes paid, code violations still remain
A downstate bank paid Sugar Loaf Resort’s outstanding taxes, but whomever owns the property needs to address a slew of building code violations before any major changes can occur at the long-shuttered Leelanau County winter retreat.Continued ...
Judge sides with township in Kasson gravel case
A local judge ruled against a landowner who challenged Kasson Township zoning rules because she wanted to mine gravel on her Leelanau County property.Continued ...
Low-income housing project lost
A development group lost control of 15 acres on the city’s west side, and along with it their proposal to develop 102 low-income, work-force housing apartments.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 8, 2014
How to finance history?
Talks continue between a host of local nonprofit officials who could overlap their organizations for history’s sake.Continued ...
Parking-space dining latest twist for downtown TC
The opportunity to dine in a street-side parking space could become the latest epicurean delight — or potential nightmare, in one official’s mind — to arrive in downtown Traverse City.Continued ...
'Good Samaritan' injured in wreck needs help
They called Scott Peterson “Good Samaritan” after the late January car wreck that nearly killed him. But friends and family said Peterson, a man who would “give a stranger the shirt off his back” needs some payback for a lifetime of good deeds.Continued ...
Union pact on TCAPS agenda
Traverse City Area Public Schools board members will consider a contract with the Food Service Employees Association, the purchase of 11 new school buses and employee layoffs, resignations and retirements at their meeting Monday night.Continued ...
Nominate an outstanding educator
Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District wants to hear from the community about area educators who have made a difference.Continued ...
Two arrested in drug bust
Traverse Narcotics Team officers arrested a Detroit man and woman after a months-long drug probe.Continued ...
- Friday, March 7, 2014
Benzonia woman accused of prescription fraud
A Benzonia woman faces a felony charge after authorities said she fraudulently obtained hundreds of prescription pills.Continued ...
Dispatch: Smart911 worth the price
An online service that gives Grand Traverse County 911 responders potentially vital information about callers cost taxpayers almost $19 per call in its first half-year of operation.Continued ...
Pastor sues former church over contract
A controversial pastor’s public schism with his former church moved into the legal realm.Continued ...
- UPDATE: Northwestern, Chemical banks merge