The Muskegon Catholic football team was unable to hold an early lead, ultimately falling to Benton Harbor 42-21 on Friday in non-league play.

The Crusaders opened the scoring with a 41-yard pass from quarterback Nolan Convertini to Christian Gordon to give MCC a 7-0 lead with 7:11 left in the first quarter.

Benton Harbor responded with 14 unanswered points to take a 14-7 advantage after the first quarter.

MCC tied the game 14-14 with 6:48 left in the second quarter on a 16-yard completion from Convertini to Gabe Johnson.

Benton Harbor punched in two more touchdowns before halftime to take a 28-14 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Benton Harbor took a 35-14 lead before the final Crusader touchdown of the night came with 36 seconds left in the third frame.

Johnson scored on a 59-yard pass from Convertini to cut the Crusader deficit to 35-21.

Benton Harbor closed out the scoring with the lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Dane Rutz led the Crusader rushing attack with 45 yards on four carries while Convertini finished with 216 yards and three touchdowns on 13-of-25 passing.

Johnson totaled 75 yards and two touchdowns on two receptions for MCC while Gordon had 73 yards and one touchdown on four receptions.

Richie Ward and Aiden Cook each had seven tackles to lead the Muskegon Catholic defense.

The Crusaders, who are 3-5, will wrap up their season next week on the road against Newaygo.