Trojans run past Wildcats
In the course of their history, the Alpena High and Traverse City Central football programs have had their fair share of close battles.
Over the past decade however, the Trojans have dominated the series and on Friday, Alpena was on the wrong end of history as the Wildcats suffered their most lopsided defeat in the history of the rivalry, losing 57-0 to the No. 9 Trojans.
“We did things tonight that we just cannot do. We were unable to keep the ball away from their athletes on special teams and that hurt us and we weren’t able to eliminate the big plays,” Alpena coach Eric Mitchell said. “When we put drives together and had chances to score, we turned the ball over and missed opportunities when we got inside the red zone and it’s just things like that we have to be able to fix.”
The Trojans wasted no time imposing their will, scoring three times in the opening quarter on touchdowns from Carson Bourdo, Carson Hall and a passing touchdown from junior star Josh Burnham to receiver Dante Williams.
In the blink of an eye, the Trojans were up three scores and they worked fast, running an up-tempo offense to do whatever they wanted to the Wildcats’ defense.
The second quarter was much of the same as Central scored in every way imaginable. The Trojans reached the end zone on a 32-yard interception return and 82-yard punt return both from Hall. Ryan Royston capped off a dominant first half with a 17-yard touchdown run as the Trojans held a 50-0 lead at the break.
“At the end of the day, it’s on me to make sure we correct these mistakes. I haven’t stressed these little things enough and obviously it’s frustrating, but I’m not mad at the kids,” Mitchell said. “We have to get back to practice and continue to work on those little things and we just need to get better.”
What offense the Wildcats were able to muster came from Kadyn Budnick, who carried the ball seven times for 64 yards. Quarterback Ryan Voltz went 8-of-19 for 56 yards and a pair of interceptions.
The Trojans racked up close to 400 yards of total offense and were led by Burnham who threw a pair of touchdowns on 7-of-11 passing for 102 yards. Hall scored three touchdowns on a run, interception return and punt return.
“I said after the game I was upset, but not at our guys, but because of the fact that we just got beat 57-0,” Mitchell said. “I told them if this doesn’t upset you then you’re playing the wrong game. We need to use this as motivation and drive us to get better.”