TRAVERSE CITY – If Friday’s meeting between Alpena and Traverse City West is their last meeting as enemies of the conference and the last meeting in earnest, the Wildcats will be happy the series is over.
West put an exclamation mark on the Big North Conference series, crushing Alpena, 40-0, at Thirlby Field.
Position on the pitch was a huge factor as four of the Titans’ eight possessions started in Alpena territory and three of them resulted in touchdowns.
“The special teams are what really hurt us tonight. The position on the pitch was huge tonight because I thought we had done a good job limiting them early and not allowing big plays, but we gave up on special teams too much, ”said the coach of ‘Alpena, Eric Mitchell.
The Wildcats (0-5, 0-3 BNC) were eliminated and forced to a three and their first possession.
Six games later, West opened the scoring with an eight-yard touchdown from Michael Schermerhorn.
Despite three goals and their second possession, Alpena’s Christian Wicklund recovered a fumble and returned the ball to the Wildcats. Unfortunately, the disc stalled and Alpena returned the ball deep into Titans territory.
West was leading 7-0 after a quarter.
The wheels fell in the second quarter as West found the end zone three times in three different ways: a 12-yard score from Schermerhorn, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Konchek to Garrett Schuler and a pick-six. of Cody Oaks, who intercepted Alpena quarterback Ryan Voltz and ran 54 yards the other way to give West a 27-0 halftime lead.
“We had chances at the start to keep the game close. We were down by two points at the start of the second and had a critical stall and failed to get a yardstick on a fourth and short at the end of the half and returned the ball and then we threw the pick-six and it was a quick game after that, ”Mitchell said. “They were stacking the box against us and we knew we had to use the pop pass more in the second half and we had some success there and we did a good job stopping the sweep tonight but we struggled running the ball and with the ground position, that’s what hurt us tonight.
West added a pair of scores in the third quarter: a seven-yard touchdown from Reece Robertson and Konchek threw his second touchdown of the night, this time to Parker Kirschner for the game’s final goal play as West ended to a 25-year conference rivalry with a 40-0 victory.
Voltz finished the game 11 of 19 with 115 yards and one interception. Brady Niedzwiecki caught three passes for 53 yards and tight end Colt Gray caught three passes for 21 yards.
The Wildcats were limited to just 50 yards on the ground and allowed Konchek and Schermerhorn to dice them as the duo combined for over 200 yards of offense and scored four touchdowns.
Alpena will be back on the road next week, heading to Gaylord for another conference.