TRAVERSE CITY — Two teams coming off close losses to their crosstown rivals met up Friday at Thirlby Field.
Only Traverse City Central was able to get the bad taste out of its mouth with a victory.
The Trojans stormed out in the second half to outscore Lapeer East 24-7 over the final 24 minutes in a 31-14 non-conference football victory.
TC Central — which was limited to 40 total yards in the first half and didn’t score on offense — put points on the board the first five times it touched the ball in the second half.
“In the first half, our line wasn’t quite there,” said Trojans fullback and linebacker Joe Schepperly, who scored two second-half touchdowns. “And basically coach challenged us in the locker room to toughen up and go out there and play our best. Our line came through. Seth Tice and all them came through and just were killing people.”
The Trojans (2-2) were coming off a 17-14 setback to Traverse City West, while Lapeer East (2-2) fell to Lapeer West 19-13.
Central’s defense clamped down on the Eagles much of the game, holding Lapeer to 208 yards — only 89 of those in the second half.
“We didn’t do much as far as changing things up,” Trojans coach Tom Passinault said. “We just challenged the kids to block better. We found a set — the double set with Schepperly in the backfield — that was giving them some problems. Excellent win for our team and program, coming off that tough loss last week. I’m extremely proud of our kids on defense. They played great.
“We’re a good football team, and it would have been very frustrating to sit here at 1-3, because I know we’re a good team.”
Schepperly later added a 14-yard TD pass from Sean Williams — who didn’t start, but came in to complete 9 of 13 passes for 78 yards.