By Steve Gunn
Last year they beat Beal City in the district finals, and they repeated that accomplishment on Saturday with a very convincing 42-0 victory.
Last year the Crusaders beat Frankfort in the regional round, and guess who they play next week?
It’s Frankfort again, and MCC Coach Steve Czerwon is expecting a battle much like last year’s, when the Crusaders had to rally for a victory.
He thinks it will be much more difficult challenge than the first two playoff games, when MCC dispatched Sacred Heart and Beal City by a combined score of 110-7. .
The regional game will be at MCC at 1 p.m. next Saturday.
“I have tremendous respect for that program and the game they gave us last year,” Czerwon said about Frankfort. “I think they are a heck of a team. They are 11-0 for a reason. We get them here next week. That should be an advantage, but there will be two pretty good football teams playing here next week.”
The Crusaders, now 11-0 on the season, took advantage of the perfect playing conditions on Saturday to drive a stake through Beal City’s season before the Aggies knew what hit them.
They opened the scoring with 7:26 remaining in the first half on a 10-yard touchdown run by LaTommy Scott. They added a score with 2:15 left on a 14-yard run by freshman quarterback Cameron Martinez to take a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
MCC poured it on in the second quarter with a 61-yard touchdown pass from Martinez to Walker Christoffersen, a 65-yard touchdown pass from Trent Bordeaux to Scott and a 26-yard touchdown run by Martinez.
Scott nearly added another touchdown on the last play of the first half, when he picked off a Beal City pass near midfield, headed up the sideline and appeared to dive into the end zone, but the referees ruled that he stepped out of bounds at the two-yard line.
Martinez scored the only touchdown of the second half with a one-yard run with 8:16 left in the third quarter.
Martinez completed 6 of 7 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 63 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns.
Bordeaux completed 5 of 5 throws for 115 yards and one TD.
Andrew Schulte led MCC defensively with 10 tackles while Nolan Convertini added six and Mason Convertini had five.
Scott, Mason Convertini and Cole Charlesworth had interceptions for the Crusaders.
Scott led MCC receivers with 109 yards on four receptions and Christoffersen tallied 101 yards on four catches.
“Offensively we have a package that teams have to do a lot to prepare for,” Czerwon said. “People think of us as a T-formation team, but we can do a lot of things.”
The blowout victory added to MCC’s already incredible point differential for the season. The Crusaders have now beaten their opponents by a combined score of 507-71.
Their closest game this season was a 21-6 victory over St. Ignace in Week 2.
MCC beat St. Ignace last year in the state semifinals, and the two teams could meet again in the state semifinals in two weeks.