Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

September 14, 2013

Dennis Chase: Kicker becomes unlikely hero

Zach Gloshen might be the most popular guy on the west side of town today.

The Traverse City West junior kicked his first field goal of the season, a 21-yarder in overtime to give the Titans a hard-fought 17-14 win over crosstown rival Traverse City Central before a boisterous overflow crowd on a cool, crisp Friday night at Thirlby Field.

“I was really nervous about it,” Gloshen said.

He didn’t act it. Pressure? What pressure? Gloshen hit squarely and with authority.

Just like that he became the unlikely hero. After all, Gloshen came into the game with this stat line: one missed field goal attempt, one of two on extra points.

But he was clutch Friday — the 13th, no less.

It was only the second overtime game in the 17-year history of the showdown. And Gloshen’s kick marked West’s 100th win as a program.

You had a sense Gloshen might be called upon after West, which won the toss and deferred in overtime, pushed Central back to the 29 after a pair of sacks, forcing the Trojans to attempt a 46-yard field goal that went wide left. That meant all West had to do was avoid sacks or penalties and stay within Gloshen’s range. The Titans pounded the ball to the 4, got the ball in the middle of the field, and then turned to their kicker.

When the kick sailed over the upright, it set off a wild celebration on the West side and put the Titans in good position in the Big North Conference with victories over two good teams — Ogemaw Heights and Central.

Sure, there were miscues, missed opportunities — mistakes that can be corrected down the road — but this was still an entertaining, hard-fought high school clash that kept spectators in their seats. And on the edge of their seats at the end.

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