ROCKFORD — Playing short-handed, Traverse City West had perennial powerhouse Rockford worried.
The Rams (9-1) led only 3-0 late in the third quarter en route to a 19-0 Division 1 playoff win.
"I was really proud of our kids," West head coach Tim Wooer said. "Number one, it was probably the best defensive team I've ever coached against. Everybody struggled (against them). Offensively, we struggled getting into rhythm and getting kids into space.
"Rockford struggled a little bit offensively this year, but it's still Rockford. I thought we just played phenomenal defense. We fumbled on our own 20 once and held them without a field goal. We had two interceptions. One was at midfield and one was on our own 25, so our defense was put in bad situations."
West (5-50 limited Rockford to 196 yards of total offense, although the Titans were able to manage just 132 of their own.
West split time at quarterback between starter Jeff Turnquist and JV signal-caller Zac Zoutendam.
"He had a good week of practice," Wooer said of Zoutendam. "We had a really tough time getting into any type of rhythm. ... Zac's a sophomore and Jeff is a junior. They'll have a great competition over the next 10 to 12 months. It's nothing Jeff did. We just wanted to see if we could get something going."
The pair combined to complete nine of 31 passes for all 132 of West's net yards. Geordon Carter hauled in 90 yards of those passes, while Dominic Teeples gained 22 yards and Caleb Breithaupt had 20.
After Carter had several catches against Rockford's man-to-man defense, the Rams switched to a zone with extra coverage toward Carter.
West was playing without four starters on offense and eight players total after suspensions handed out this week for violating team rules.