TRAVERSE CITY — Just moments after Zach Gloshen’s 21-yard field goal gave Traverse City West a 17-14 overtime victory over rival TC Central, Titan players posed for pictures with the Nowak-Olson Trophy.
“I don’t want to go home right now!” Titans defensive end Calvin Bouttavong loudly declared.
Bouttavong and the TC West defense had held Central’s explosive offense to just two touchdowns and were able to allow the Titans to overcome a three-turnover deficit.
“If you’re minus three (in turnovers), your chance of winning drops about 90 percent,” said West coach Tim Wooer, who did an excited celebratory run across the field and shoulder roll at the 40 after Gloshen’s kick sailed through the uprights. “Not many teams can overcome that. It really shows the heart our team has. We really grew up. I think Jeff Turnquist grew up as a quarterback. And again, our defense, a big compliment to Jason Morrow and Kelly Smith and Ryan Pfefferle. What a great defensive effort.”
West fumbled three times, with Central recovering each time. The Trojans didn’t turn the ball over, aside from three failed fourth-down conversions.
In overtime, West came up with a big pair of back-to-back sacks by Zac Schwert and Tyler Town to force the Trojans into a long 46-yard Jake Gorter field goal that was wide left.
“We’re still feeling our way around offensively,” Central coach Tom Passinault said. “We were able to hit some big plays, but we couldn’t sustain the ball when we needed to. You don’t want to play a power T team in overtime from the 10 yard line. The advantage is in their favor. We made a couple mistakes in our own overtime offense, took the sack and missed the field goal.”
“I feel bad for Jake Gorter,” Wooer said. “Jake is a heck of a kicker and a great young man. It’s unfortunate to see something like that happen to anyone. I told Tom it was too bad that any team had to lose that game. It was a clean game, there was no trash talk, no cheap shots. Just a great, great football game. My hat’s off to Central.”