By Lucas Rain
Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON – The Muskegon Catholic Crusaders are cruising through their inaugural season in the Lakes 8 Conference.
The latest rout came Friday night when MCC rolled past Fruitport 56-7 at Kehren Stadium, improving to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference.
“I just thought we played a nice total game tonight,” said Muskegon Catholic Coach Steve Czerwon. “We had things clicking and we’re healthy. Things are going well and we just executed the offense and were able to play physical on defense.”
The story was very much the same as last week’s big win over Spring Lake, with a dominant running attack and stingy defense leading the Crusaders to victory. MCC outgained Fruitport 416-171 in total offense, with 326 yards on the ground.
Leading the offensive charge was quarterback Nick Holt, who ran for 115 yards and a touchdown, and also threw for a score. LaTommy Scott rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries. Tommy Scott added three touchdowns and racked up 83 yards on the ground.
“We have lots of options (on offense),” Czerwon said. “It gets a little tough to defend us, and those guys just keep working and improving.”
The scoring started early for the Crusaders, who led 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
After three straight runs up the middle, LaTommy Scott took a handoff and broke around the outside on a sweep to go 49 yards for a touchdown.
Tommy Scott then joined in with a dazzling 12-yard touchdown run, spinning off a would-be tackler.
Fruitport lost the ball on a fumble on its ensuing possession, which was recovered by Jacob Holt for the Crusaders.
Facing a fourth-and-long on its next drive, Nick Holt found Dominic Woodard down the seam between a pair of Trojan defenders for a 29-yard touchdown strike.
The Trojans turned the ball over again after a snap went over quarterback Jarod Wierengo’s head and was recovered by MCC’s Nate Jones. It took just one play for the Crusaders to score on a 20-yard run by Tommy Scott.
MCC led 28-0 after one quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Nick Holt kept the ball and bounced to the outside for a 31-yard touchdown run, giving the Crusaders a 35-0 lead.
MCC got the ball back following a Fruitport punt and scored on its sixth consecutive drive to go up 42-0. The effort was capped by a one-yard Tommy Scott touchdown run.
LaTommy Scott scampered into the end zone late in the second quarter to give MCC a 49-0 halftime advantage.
The game was played with a running clock in the second half, due to MCC’s big lead.
MCC put together a 57-yard scoring drive near the end of the game. Zach Winzer plowed through the line for a1-yard touchdown to cap off the night for the Crusaders.
The Trojans put their points on the board on the game’s final drive with a 10-yard touchdown run by .
Fruitport was led offensively by Wierengo, who ran for 46 yards and threw for 91. Andrew Slocum was the team’s leading receiver with four catches for 48 yards.
Defensively, Slocum and Nathan Kriger tallied seven and six tackles, respectively.
For the Crusaders, Woodard hauled in four passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Griffen Seymour was perfect on the night with eight extra points.
Jones and Lamar Jordan led the way on the defensive end, with eight and six tackles, respectively. The Crusaders have allowed just seven points in their last three games.
The win put the Crusaders, who are defending Division 8 state champions, one win away from clinching another playoff spot.
“The goal is to be playing in Week 10, and we are now one win away from doing that,” Czerwon said. “We feel good about that. We’re going to go up to Fremont (next week) on the road, which is a new environment and a new team for us, so I’m sure it’s going to present some challenges.”