The win claimed the Coast Guard City Cup trophy. The Titans had owned the trophy since 2012, defeating the Bucs three times over that stretch.
“We showed a lot of mental toughness tonight,” said Grand Haven head coach Joe Nelson.
The game was a defensive struggle with a meaty middle, as neither team scored in the first or fourth quarters. T.C. West took a 10-6 lead into halftime, striking first on a two-yard touchdown run.
Grand Haven’s Owen Krizan put the Bucs on the board next, breaking off a 48-yard touchdown run. Grand Haven would miss the extra point, and the Titans padded their lead with a 29-yard field goal heading into halftime.
Connor Worthington scored the game-winning touchdown on the first play of the second half, capping off an 80-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run.
With just under five minutes to play, the Bucs tried to bolster their lead with a long field goal attempt, only to see it blocked, handing T.C. West prime field position in crunch time.
The Titans took the ensuing drive to fourth down with 1:35 left on the clock, electing to air it out going for the first down. Grand Haven’s Brayden Franz intercepted the pass, putting the Bucs in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the contest.
Worthington sealed the victory with 35 seconds left, breaking off a long run on third down to retain possession.
The Grand Haven offense totaled 242 yards Thursday night, with 178 rushing and 64 passing, and gave up zero turnovers. The defense forced three turnovers and held T.C. West to just 153 total yards with 42 through the air and 99 on the ground.
Worthington led the Grand Haven offense with 119 yards rushing and one touchdown on 17 carries, followed by Krizan with 86 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. Bryce Taylor led the wideouts with 32 receiving yards.
Collin Takas finished 4-for-7 under center for 64 yards passing. T.C. West’s Sam DeKuiper finished 4-for-10 with 54 yards and minus 5 rushing yards.
Bronsen Jewell led the Grand Haven defense with five tackles
Grand Haven improves to 2-0 on the year and will open up their O-K Red Conference schedule against Hudsonville next week at home.