By Dave Tomczak
Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON – For the second consecutive year, Muskegon Catholic Central and Fowler met in the playoffs. And for the second time, the Crusaders came away from the contest victorious. This time with with a little more breathing room.
After knocking the Eagles out of last years playoffs, 14-0, the host Crusaders did much more damage Friday night, rolling to a 42-0 Division 8 district title.
“The best thing we’ve been doing is our defense,” said MCC coach Steve Czerwon. “Defensively we’ve played well all year and anytime you can hold a team to zero points, it doesn’t take a lot of scoring to win.”
MCC will face the winner of today’s Mendon-Climax-Scotts game, in the regionals next week.
Fowler (8-3) opened the game with a first down on its first play, but it was all down hill after that. The Eagles would punt the ball away three plays later and MCC would take a 7-0 lead seconds later.
Alex Lewandoski took the first Crusader handoff, broke four tackles, and rumbled 61 yards for the score.
“The line came right out and blocked well,” the senior back said. “I broke a few tackles and it was off to the races.”
Both teams shared possessions throughout the rest of the first quarter, but Catholic Central (9-2) put together a 10-play drive that resulted in quarterback Nick Holt scoring from a yard out with 10:21 left in the first half and a 14-0 lead.
Catholic would put together another 10-play drive right before the half, but would end up punting the ball back to Fowler. Content to run the clock out, the Eagles looked as if they would take to the break trailing only by two touchdowns.
But back-to-back penalties against Fowler stopped the clock and forced a punt, giving MCC the ball back with 20 seconds left in the first half.
Two plays later, Holt found a streaking Tommy Scott down the right sideline for a 56-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left and a 21-0 lead.
“That was a huge play,” Holt, who finished 3-of-4 passing for 79 yards, said. “We’ve been working on that play and we executed it perfectly.”
“That was a tough one to recover from,” Fowler coach Kris Ernst added. “The kids played a tough first half and I thought we had weathered the storm, but it was a busted coverage.
“Being down 14 points at halftime is manageable, but 21 is tough to catch up. But you have to give credit to Catholic Central, they’re a great football team and they put us in that position.”
Already down three scores, the Eagles started the second half by kicking off to the Crusaders. Nine plays later Holt would find Ian Tyler in the endzone for a 7 yard TD strike and a 28-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Holt would call his own number, breaking loose for an 89-yard TD run and with the extra point from Griffin Seymour, MCC had a 35-0 lead and a running clock for the second consecutive playoff game.
“(Offensively) we have four guys that can go the distance,” Czerwon said. “(And) with those guys our offensive line does get overlooked, but somebody is opening all those holes for those guys.”
The Crusaders would finish off the scoring with Scott rushing in from 11 yards out at the 5:32mark. That score puts this years team just 14 points behind the schools all-time scoring record. With the way MCC is scoring, they could surpass that record by the end of the first quarter next week.
Catholic Central finished the district final with a 477-89 advantage in total yardage, including rushing for 398 yards on 41 carries. Holt finished with 164 yards on 12 carries, Lewandoski added 108 on nine carries and Scott finished with 11 carries for 69 yards. Scott also had the one catch for 56 yards and Tyler added two grabs for 23.
Austin Cook, who led Fowler’s offense with over 1,000 yards rushing this season, finished with just 51 yards on 14 carries.The Eagles rushed for 87 yards while completing 1-of-4 passes for two yards.
Lewandoski led the MCC defense with seven tackles, Nate Jones had six and Tyler, Jaeden Macpherson and Jake Kimbrough added four tackles apiece.
MUSKEGON CATHOLIC CENTRAL 42, FOWLER 0
Fowler 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0
MCC 7 – 14 – 14- 7 – 42
MCC – Alex Lewandoski 61 run (Griffin Seymour kick)
MCC – Nick Holt 1 run (Seymour kick)
MCC – Holt pass 56 to Tommy Scott (Seymour kick)
MCC – Holt pass 7 to Ian Tyler (Seymour kick)
MCC – Holt 89 run (Seymour kick)
MCC – Scott 11 run (Seymour kick)