TRAVERSE CITY —
Last week it was Dalton Stenberg. This time around it was Austin Reminga.
In both instances, Traverse City West saw the wrong side of another "grand" running back on too many occasions.
Grandville's Reminga ran 22 times for 208 yards and five touchdowns and added an 85-yard interception return for another score in the Bulldogs' 42-14 win over the Titans (0-2) in a game that was tied 14-14 at halftime.
Last week, Grand Haven's Stenberg went off for four TD runs and a defensive score in the Bucs' 48-21 victory that was knotted up at 21-all at the intermission.
"It has a lot to do with the mental part of the game," Titans coach Tim Wooer said. "There was that letdown from playing with a state championship caliber team and thinking, 'Now we can beat anybody.' I warned them about it. A lot of the blame goes on myself for not having our team prepared. I'm sorry to the Traverse City West community. We were an embarrassment. And how we were prepared is a responsibility of the coaching staff."
West committed five turnovers — four fumbles and one interception — and also had seven penalties, many of which seemed to come at the worst time.
The decision leaves the Titans still without a win over Grandville in school history, falling to 0-7 against the Bulldogs.
"Short fields help, especially when you have the short field on a turnover," Grandville coach Scot Shaw said. "We didn't play real well last week. So even in the short week ... we went back to some of the old stuff we did when we were able to move the ball. We saw these guys play Grand Haven pretty even through a half last week. We knew they were pretty good."
Just like the week before, West tied the contest just before halftime.
Brett Kenny finished off a nine-play, 70-yard drive in just 1:30 with a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jake Fisher on a well-executed fake hand-off and quick hit over the middle. That knotted things up at 14-14 with 26 ticks left in the opening half.
Things started looking even better when Morgan Tolle came out of a pile with the ball on Grandville's first play of the second half.
But the Titans turned right around and fumbled the exchange on their first play to give the ball back.
"We were lucky to be in the game, when you think about it," Wooer said. "We had a turnover in the first quarter and gave them great field position. We had that drive to tie it up at the half, then it was like Murphy's Law again. They give us a turnover and one play later, we give the ball back to them. A holding penalty here, a personal foul on a third-and-9 on an incompletion for roughing the passer. I just went through the entire locker room said, 'Nearly everyone in here did something stupid.' But we're not going to point fingers. We're a family. I hate losing. I can't stand it, and this is one of the low points of my coaching career."
The Titans also had one touchdown called back due to an offensive pass interference call.
After West went a total of 27 yards on its next two possessions and Grandville (1-1) did even less — putting up a pair of three-and-outs against the Titan defense — the Bulldogs finally put it in gear with a 13-play, 79-yard drive that consumed over six minutes and ended in Reminga's 10-yard sweep to the right for a 21-14 lead eight seconds into the fourth quarter.
"The one drive where we took it down and picked up a couple big third downs," Shaw said. "After that, we played like we never played like we did last year with a lead. We were ahead in eight ball games last year and finished 4-5. So I was really glad our kids showed they could finish tonight."
Grandville would finish the game with scores on three of its last five possessions and a missed field goal on another. One ended with a spectacular interception by Jesse Schwartz.
Reminga scored three touchdowns in a span of 2:51, striking for an 18-yard TD run with 5:54 left, returning an interception 85 yards after West moved the ball deep into Bulldogs territory and capitalized on another fumble recovery by taking the first play from scrimmage 64 yards for his sixth score of the evening.
Reminga put Grandville out to a 14-0 lead on scoring runs of 44 and 12 yards in the first quarter.
But the Titans battled back to send it into halftime knotted up. West responded to Reminga's second touchdown with a six-play, 77-yard possession that ended in a Zac Shafer 1-yard plunge and Kenny's pass to Fisher made it 14-14.
The Bulldogs didn't have much luck passing the ball with a re-tooled offense featuring rotating quarterbacks for the first time in Shaw's tenure. Thomas Curry was 2-for-10 with one interception and Colin DeKam was 2-for-4 for 35 yards and another 27 running.
West's rushing attack featured four major contributors — Shafer (17 carries for 65 yards), Kenny (11 for 50), Cody Scheuerman (7 for 45) and Collin Richards (5 for 41). Kenny added 181 passing yards, completing five throws to Jerod Hubbard for 39 yards and hooking up with Schwartz and Devyn Powell for 68 yards each.
Defensively, the Titans were led by Tolle's 7 tackles and five apiece from Schwartz, Scheuerman, Ryan Peter, Zane Rusinowski and Hunter Tucker.
The Titans host Canadian foe Essex next Friday at Thirlby Field.
Reminga runs for 208 yards in win over Titans
TRAVERSE CITY —
Last week it was Dalton Stenberg. This time around it was Austin Reminga.
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