From staff reports
PETOSKEY — Decimated by injuries, Traverse City West rallied to score the game-winning touchdown with 50 seconds left for a 24-17 Big North Conference victory Friday over Petoskey.
The Northmen had knotted the score at 17-17 on Shea Whitmore's second touchdown run of the game, and West needed to retaliate without its starting quarterback and top three rushers.
"We overcame some adversity without Donny (Cizek)," Titans coach Tim Wooer said. "Zach (McGuire) kind of got thrown in the fire."
McGuire played better after the game wore on, gaining 53 yards on 12 carries in a balanced West running game that pounded the ball 62 times for 278 yards.
"He had a couple nice runs on the last drive and had a play on a miscommunication in the backfield and made something out of nothing," Wooer said.
Georden Carter ran in from a yard out to put West ahead. He also converted on a fourth-and-1 with less than three minutes remaining to keep the drive alive.
With Cizek and running back Griffin Forrester out all week and backs Grant Ellison and Grant Balino suffering injuries later on, it was up to Carter, McGuire and Forrest Eagle to carry the load on the final drive.
Balino ran 20 times for 83 yards, Ellison had 18 carries for 88 yards and Eagle gained 40 yards on seven rushes.
Dustin Tucker led the defense with 14 tackles, Derrick Diver had 13 stops and Jordan Stevenson and Carter nine each. Tyler Johnson made seven tackles and intercepted a pass.
Playing its homecoming game, Petoskey's scoring came on a pair of Whitmore touchdowns runs from a yard out and a Louis Lamberti 27-yard field goal.