By Justin Haggerty

MUSKEGON – For the 12th time in the last 13 years, the Muskegon Catholic Central Crusaders have qualified for the state football playoffs.LSJ Logo incert

MCC made quick work of Muskegon Heights at home Friday, cruising to a 55-6 victory, their sixth of the season, which is enough to qualify for the postseason.Sport Clips 2016 football ad

The game featured a running clock for the duration of the second half. The Crusaders, ranked No. 1 in the state in Division 8, are now 6-0 overall and 3-0 in Lakes 8 Conference play.

The Crusader offense has been a highlight reel this year – scoring at least 30 points in all but one game – but MCC Coach Steve Czerwon also appreciates the play of his small but effective defensive unit.

The Crusaders have only surrendered 44 points all season.

“Our defense has played well – I think this is the fastest defense since I’ve been head coach (since 2013),” Czerwon said. “We’re a pretty quick defense and I think the way we line up playing a 3-3, it’s given some teams some problems blocking it.

LaTommy Scott breaks free on the rush for MCC. Photo/Tim Reilly

LaTommy Scott breaks free on the rush for MCC. Photo/Tim Reilly

“We only have one guy on our defense that weighs over 200 pounds. That was by design in the offseason. We just thought we needed to find a way to get our athletes on the field. You’re playing more spread (offense) teams as it is now.

“The way our personnel is set up, it gets our best people on the field. Maybe it’s a little unconventional, but maybe that’s the day-and-age of football when teams are trying to spread you out and you can get away with it.”

It didn’t take long for senior running back LaTommy Scott and the Crusader offense to get on the board Friday night.

The MCC defense forced a turnover on Heights’ first possession, and the Crusaders got the ball at the Tigers’ 21-yard line. Five plays later, Scott stormed through the line for a five-yard touchdown run to give MCC a 7-0 lead just 2:28 into the game.

MCC senior Logan Helton scored twice in the first quarter on runs of 15 and 7 yards to put the Crusaders up 20-0 after the opening frame.

With 11:06 remaining in the second quarter, MCC quarterback Trenten Bordeaux completed a shovel pass to Scott, who rumbled 58 yards down the left sideline to put MCC up 27-0.

Less than two minutes later, senior Walker Christoffersen found the end-zone with a touchdown run to give the hosts a 34-0 lead.

Walker Christoffersen finds the outside edge against Muskegon Heights defense. Photo/Tim Reilly

Walker Christoffersen finds the outside edge against Muskegon Heights defense. Photo/Tim Reilly

The ensuing Muskegon Heights possession ended after just one play when the MCC defense, aided by the slick conditions, forced a fumble.

MCC freshman phenom Cameron Martinez took the first snap of the next drive and sprinted for a 35-yard touchdown to put the Crusaders up 41-0 with 9:17 to play in the first half.

Martinez added a nine-yard touchdown run before the half was through to make it 48-0.

Muskegon Heights’ highlight of the night came in the second quarter when senior Martel Love broke free and raced 84 yards down the sideline to get the Tigers on the board.

MCC led 48-6 at halftime.

The only scoring in the second half came with 2:47 remaining in the game when MCC’s Dawson Steigman rumbled 25 yards for a touchdown. Steigman was the game’s leading rusher with 94 yards on just six carries.

With another playoff berth sealed up, Czerwon wants to focus on getting home-field advantage and force postseason opponents to visit Kehren Stadium, where MCC hasn’t lost since early 2013.

“We need to secure some home games. Last year we only got one home game in the playoffs and it made things a little tougher on us,” Czerwon said.

“I think we play well at home in the playoffs and there’s really no substitute for being at home. Make them make the trip instead of you.”