Stopped by a Trojan wall
Marquette gridders fall to 2-0 after loss to Traverse City Central
By RYAN SPITZA
Journal Sports Writer
MARQUETTE — Noah Norton had three touchdowns on the day including an 85-yard pick-six as the Marquette Redmen football team fell to Traverse City Central by a score of 42-14 at William R. Hart Stadium on Friday night.
The Redmen fall to 0-2 on the season while the Trojans improve to 2-0 after winning its fourth straight meeting against the Redmen.
Marquette head coach Dave L’Huillier said the first two weeks of the season have come against tough, quality opponents.
“We’ve played two fantastic teams, we’re not opening with two weak teams,” he said. “It’s a tough start, you almost have to play perfect the first two weeks to get yourself through.”
L’Huillier added that his kids played a good game with momentum shifts bringing the Redmen down.
“I’m proud of our effort, the kids played really well in certain situations,” he said. “We just had a couple changes of momentum where we’re going in to score at the end of the first half to make it 21-14 and then they get a pick-six to make it 28-7; that really changes the whole complexion of the game.”
L’Huillier also credited Central for a well-deserved victory.
“They’re tough in space and they’ve got speed all over,” he said. “If you don’t make tackles in space they’re going to expose the defense.”
After a three-and-out to begin the game, Marquette was forced to punt and Central capitalized on its first drive with a run in from the 11-yard line from Norton to take the lead just five minutes into the game.
Marquette was forced to punt again on its next drive but recovered a fumble on Traverse City Central’s 4-yard line. A pass from Andrew Gale to Greyson Anthos on second-and-goal put the Redmen on the board and the extra point tied the game at seven.
On the ensuing drive for Traverse City Central, not even a minute later they regained the lead once again. A three-play drive including a 53-yard run from Norton to set up first-and-goal at the 5-yard line where quarterback Tobin Schwannecke ran the ball into the end zone. The extra point gave the Trojans a 14-7 lead.
Central earned a 14-point lead minutes into the second quarter when Schwannecke fired a ball to wide receiver Terry O’Connor for a 33-yard gain to set up 1st-and-10 from the 12-yard line. The very next play, Norton ran it in from the 12-yard line for his second touchdown of the day.
The very next possession, Marquette worked up a lengthy drive down field until quarterback Brendan Kaski was picked off by Norton who took it to the house for an 85-yard pick-six, giving the Trojans a 28-7 lead going into halftime.
Marquette scored one more time on a fumble recovery by Jacob Johnson, who took it all the way to the end zone for a touchdown, making it a two-score game.
Central tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half, one from O’Connor on a pass to the end zone and another pass to Bowen Brunner.
TCC head coach Eric Schugars commented on the travel aspect of the game, telling his players to focus on strictly business.
“I’m proud of our kids and we got win number two,” he said. “We came up here and we talked about a business trip; they traveled well, so I’m really proud of them for that.”
Schugars also talked about challenging his team’s offense throughout the game and also praised the defense.
“We challenged our offense because we didn’t execute real well last week,” he said. “We challenged them to play better and they were.
“I’m proud of our defense, I thought they played extremely well. When you score on defense, you usually win, so I’m proud of that.”
Kaski finished 10-for-15 with 100 yards through the air for Marquette. Andrew Gale led the Redmen rush with 68 yards on the ground. Schwannecke was 16-for-20 with 153 yards through the air.
Central picked up 23 first downs throughout the contest to Marquette’s 11.
Marquette will travel to Sault Ste. Marie for a matchup with the Blue Devils (1-1) on Sept. 8. Traverse City Central will have a crosstown contest with Traverse City West (2-0).
Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. Marquette gridders fall to 2-0 after loss to Traverse City Central