MIDLAND — Traverse City West's defense shined while the offense sputtered a little in a 16-0 season-opening loss to Midland.
The Chemics kicked field goals in each of the final three quarters and scored one fourth-quarter touchdown.
The Titans' defense held Midland — which was 11-1 a year ago — to 202 yards of total offense, but West managed only 148 yards of its own.
Titans leading rusher Zach McGuire left the game on a stretch with 46 seconds left after catching a 32-yard pass and taking a knee to the back of the helmet. West coach Tim Wooer said he'll have to go through concussion testing next week to be cleared to play.
"There were a couple bright spots, without a doubt," Wooer said. "The first one is defense. Not only did they play really good defense and hold them to minimal points, but they were on the field a lot. I don't know how long they were on the field, but it was just outrageous how much they were on the field. So for them to do that, what an outstanding compliment to the defense. That's an area where we were very young, too."
Geordon Carter led the defense with 13 tackles (11 solo). Keegan Kenny had eight stops and Jacob Benker and Calvin Boultavong seven each. Tyler Town and Boultavong each had a sack.
McGuire led the Titans with 51 rushing yards on eight carries (6.4 average) before leaving with an injury. Max Lukda added 18 rush yards, Josh Rakan 11 and Noah Malaski 10.
"We've got a lot of things to look at and think about," Wooer said. "We're not in a great place right now offensively."
Jeff Turnquist completed four of 11 passes for 80 yards. McGuire caught a pass for 32 yards and Wes Talbot one for 28 to lead the passing game.
The Titans turn right around and face a loaded Ogemaw Heights team that brings back 17 of 22 starters.
"Ogemaw is going to bring a different style (than Midland)," Wooer said. "I think they'll be better than Midland was offensively. I watched them in a scrimmage, and they've got some incredible athletes. They'll pose different challenges to our defense with their athleticism. Hopefully we can get some things ironed out offensively so we don't put so much pressure on our defense."