TC Central Edges TC West in “Overtime on the Road”
TRAVERSE CITY – Terry O’Connor’s interception return for a touchdown early in the second quarter lifted Traverse City Central to a 10-8 victory over rival West in the fifth annual Patriot Game and our “Overtime on the Road” matchup on Friday.
Trailing 8-3 after West’s Isaac Flores’ 42-yard touchdown run with 10:46 remaining in the second quarter, O’Connor hauled in the interception that proved to be the game’s winning score.
“Tonight I felt a really strong connection between everyone on the defense,” O’Connor said. “We’re all just working together and doing what we were doing during practice and we executed. I love my teammates and they executed with me and got the W for us.”
Central (3-0, 1-0) took a 3-0 lead with under two minutes left in the first quarter on a 41-yard field goal from Gabe Pickett.
“As you got going in the game, you sensed that… I felt pretty confident with our defense,” Central coach Eric Schugars said. “Fortunately for us, they missed a few plays. They had a couple chances, a couple opportunities that didn’t go their way. We made a couple plays when we needed to and that’s what good teams do.”
Friday’s win was the third straight over West for the defending conference champion Trojans.
Central hosts Portage Central in non-league play next Friday, while West (2-1, 0-1) travels to Petoskey.