PETOSKEY — This one went to the tortoise.
Chase Ledingham rushed for 160 yards and a school-record tying five touchdowns on 30 carries Friday as Petoskey held off Traverse City Central, 42-37, in a Big North Conference football game at Curtis Field.
It was Petoskey’s grind-it-out ball-control offense against Central’s sling-it and wing-it spread.
The Northmen followed the script that has so often worked for them in the recent past: Seize the early lead, then hang on and snuff out the opponent.
Both teams are 3-3 overall, 1-2 league. The Trojans’ two-game win streak came to an end, while the Northmen snapped a three-game losing skid, their longest since the 2007 season.
“We both did what we do,” Central coach Tom Passinault said. “We’re a spread them out, get the ball to our playmakers (type of team) and that worked extremely well for us. They grind it out and they chewed a bunch of clock.”
And yardage. Junior Kurt Boucher added 127 yards on 25 attempts for the Northmen, who finished with 334 yards on the ground and produced 18 first downs. Petoskey finished with 369 totals yards and four of its six scoring drives covered 60-plus yards.
Ledingham, Boucher and Co. won the war of contrasting styles despite a pair of outstanding performances by Central quarterback Sean Williams and running back Ethan Campbell.
Williams completed 16 of his 28 pass attempts for 233 yards and three touchdowns. Campbell scored four times and finished with 249 all-purpose yards from scrimmage.
Campbell bolted 74 yards for a TD on the Trojans’ first play from scrimmage, knotting the game at 7-all. He later scored on a 68-yard run and caught two TD passes from Williams, one covering 66 yards, the other 18. Campbell finished with 137 yards rushing on seven attempts, and caught five passes for 112 yards.
Williams’ other TD pass covered 15 yards to Jephte Jean-Claude.