Muskegon Catholic rolls past Vestaburg in Division 8 predistrict win [VIDEO]

By Dave Tomczak
Local Sports Journal

Behind an unrelenting rushing attack and a stout defense, Muskegon Catholic Central put the regular season behind it and welcomed in the playoffs in dominating fashion.

The host Crusaders scored 34 first-quarter points, scoring the first four times they touched the ball, and rolled to a 61-8 predistrict victory over Vestaburg in Division 8 playoff action Friday.

MCC (7-3) took advantage of three Wolverines’ turnovers in the quarter, turning each into points.

Catholic will face Fowler next week in the district final Friday at Fowler. The Eagles defeated Baldwin 42-0 Friday.

Vestaburg (6-4) began the night on a positive note, returning the opening kickoff to midfield. But they were forced to punt three plays later and would soon find itself in a hole too big.

The Crusaders drove 85 yards and scored on a 12-yard touchdown run by Alex Lewandoski.

That was just the beginning of a big night for Catholic’s junior running back.

On the ensuing possession, the Wolverines were forced to punt from deep in their own territory and watched as Lewandoski fielded the punt on a hop and raced untouched 42 yards for a 14-0 MCC lead.

Vestaburg couldn’t mount any sort of comeback, as the MCC defense forced three turnovers on the Wolverines’ next three possessions.

Tommy Scott (14 yards) and Zach Campbell (1) turned the first two of those turnovers into TD runs.

“(Catholic) is a quality program and they were bigger, faster and stronger than us,” Wolverine coach Dan Ryckman said. “We needed to have a game where we had no turnovers, stop their big plays and be able to move the ball. We weren’t able to do those three things.”

With the first quarter winding down, MCC coach Mike Holmes was able to rest his starters and turn to his bench, which responded with an 11-yard TD run from Zach Winzer following an interception.

Blake Sanford (1) and Lewandoski (83) added two second-quarter scores before the Wolverines scored with 1:15 left in the half, cutting the Crusaders lead to 47-8.

“We’re capable (of playing like this) if we don’t turn the ball over,” Holmes said. “All week we stressed ball security – value the ball. We blocked well and executed the way we wanted to.”

MCC finished the first half with 232 rushing yards on 23 carries and no turnovers.

Lewandoski, who finished the night averaging 27 yards per carry, scored from 29 yards out in the third quarter to give Catholic Central a 54-8 lead.

“I have to give our (offensive) line props,” Lewandoski said. “Our line is great at opening holes, I just get the ball and run.”

Nick Holt finished off the scoring for MCC, adding a fourth-quarter TD run from 18 yards out.

The Crusaders finished the game with 381 total yards, 332 on the ground, led by Lewandoski’s 160 yards on six carries. Sanford finished with seven carries for 56 yards, Tommy Scott had seven carries for 48 yards and Zach Campbell was 2-of-2 passing for 49 yards.

“I told the team before tonight that we were 1 of 32 teams  (in Division 8),” Holmes said. “Now we’re 1 of 16 and the goal for next week is to be 1 of 8, and the key remains the same, don’t turn the ball over.”

MCC finished with 20 first downs to Vestaburg’s 6, and limited the Wolverines to 132 total yards, 99 on the ground. Lamar Jordan led the Crusaders with seven tackles while Holt finished with six, three for a loss.

 

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