Michigan males: West storms back vs. Midland | Local News
ANN ARBOR – Kevin Healy could never have dreamed of watching his son play football from the front row of the Big House.
The Traverse City resident is a fan of the state of Michigan, after all.
Mike Healy was fit for Traverse City West when junior college players made the road trip to Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor as part of the Battle of the Big House between Traverse City West and Midland.
“It’s great to watch my son,” said Kevin Healy just before kick-off. “I’m a Spartan, so it’s a bit rough, but he’s allowed to wear green here.”
TC West charged back to beat Midland at 35:28 after finishing 28:14 at halftime on Thursday at the Battle at the Big House football game at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in Michigan’s opening week of high school football would have.
All it took was a game called Michigan and a defense that shut out the chemicals for the final 31 minutes.
“This is how we run Michigan!” Titans head coach Greg Vaughan yelled on the sidelines after Michael Schermerhorn broke a 50-yard touchdown run to bring West to 35:28 with 3:45 in the game.
Michael Schermerhorn then intercepted a Midland pass destined for Sam Dauer – a player wearing the same jersey with the number 21 – to nearly seal the deal. Schermerhorn, who wore the team’s gold-painted chain around his neck after the game, iced up the game with a 13-yard run in West’s next game, which allowed the Titans to enter the winning formation.
“If you look up, it’s bigger than it was before,” Schermerhorn said of the Michigan stadium, which holds more than 105,000 and which hosted three high school games on Thursday. “It’s just crazy.”
Three more preparation games are planned for Friday.
West took an 8-0 lead early on when Brandon Konchek held the 69-yard quarterback on the left. West ran a spread extra point conversion play with three players on each side. But they didn’t move back like many teams do, and Konchek snapped the ball and dashed slightly into the center for the conversion, with only two Midland defenders covering the center.
“I mean, people tell me I’m not a double threat,” Konchek said. “I’m trying to prove it’s me, I’m telling you.”
Midland was leading 28:14 at halftime. Two of the results of chemistry came from the Titans’ mistakes. A high snap resulted in a run on a punt that didn’t convert and set up Midland for Jalen Brown’s incredible catch after Will Gaston knocked the ball away, but Brown got the ball out of diversion while it was on the ground in the end zone .
Midland led 28-8 in a 21-yard screen pass touchdown to Jason Davenport with 7:33 before halftime.
Konchek scored with Garett Shuler for a 22-yard touchdown 4:13 before half to reduce Midland’s lead to 28:14.
West moved left on Konchek’s 19-yard TD pass to Schermerhorn within a score of 10:57. Gaston grabbed a two-point conversion pass to make it 28-22 Chemics.
The Titan defense stepped up with a three-and-out before a Brown interception when Konchek was hit while throwing. The Titan Defense stood up again and put Gaston’s 82-yard punt return on the left.
“Well the coach called the right block and I should go right, but I looked left and I see this green grass all the way,” Gaston said. “I saw a couple of blockers and I knew they could finish. They’re looking at me so I was like, ‘Okay, just hit him and it worked.’ I had a couple of great lockers in the front, that’s for sure. “
The players on both teams kept tensing up and leaving the field as the heat index on the field rose to 140.
University of Michigan medical personnel on the sidelines aimed a temperature gun at the man-made surface and it peaked at 109.2 degrees by simply reading “Hello.”
“We were just totally devastated because kids went under,” said Midland head coach Eric Methner. “We just don’t have that kind of depth. We have kids who fall down, a lot of cramps and so on. “
Both teams kept water and gatorade ready for such occasions, but West also had glasses of cucumber juice in a cooler for the cramped player. The players littered both side lines with tiny rubber balls that stuck to sweaty arms and legs all over the place.
So many players tensed up that Vaughan had to help Gaston stretch in the second half because all the coaches and medical staff were already busy.
“They told me up at the radio that they measured it in the field at 147 degrees,” said Vaughan. “I told them, ‘This is what my weight feels like right now. I went from 300 to 147. ‘ It was hot. It was hot.”
Midland quarterback Drew Barrie, a Michigan Tech basketball committee, passed for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Konchek completed 8-of-15 throws for 67 yards and a touchdown, and added 113 rush yards on 12 carries. Schermerhorn passed him one and two yards and collected 115 on seven containers.
Gaston led the defense with eight tackles while Matt Zoutendam and Ben Schollett made six chips each. Aiden Lewandowski forced a fumble and Schollett got one.
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