Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 20, 2009

Traverse City Wolves dominate in debut

Moran throws three TD passes


WILLOW RUN -- It would have been hard to script a better start for Traverse City's debut in the North American Football League.

With quarterback Will Moran completing 9 of 12 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns, the Wolves throttled Ypsilanti 33-7 Saturday night in a game played at Willow Run High School.

"You could not ask for a better start," said Wolves owner-coach Daniel Skibbe. "We still have things to work on, but we limited our mistakes (Saturday night). Overall, I was impressed with the play of our team."

The Wolves led 27-0 at half. Ypsilanti's only touchdown came late in the game.

Traverse City, meanwhile, established control on its first possession, marching 80 yards in eight plays -- all on the ground. D.J. Robinson capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

Moran took over from there, connecting with Michael Stagg, Will Conklin and Bryan Travis on scoring passes.

"I was impressed with his (Moran) leadership, with the way he ran the team," Skibbe said. "He made some nice throws, some nice reads."

The Wolves added another score in the third quarter on Casey Conklin's two-yard run.

The defense, which provided the offense with excellent field position throughout the game, did not surrender a first down -- other than by penalty -- until the fourth quarter. The Wolves had four sacks.

"Our defense set the tone," Skibbe said. "They kept the pressure all game."

Tyler Alpers and Ryan Brown led the unit with six stops apiece.

The Wolves chewed up nearly 400 yards in offense. Robinson led a balanced ground game with 51 yards in eight carries. Casey Conklin added 48 yards in 12 carries and DJ Szymoniak 42 yards in six carries.