By John Karafa and Greg Wickson

Two former foes from the old-school Lake Michigan Athletic Conference met up on Thursday as Muskegon Catholic traveled to Benton Harbor for a gridiron matchup.

MCC overcame a slow start and walked away with a 29-12 victory in a game that was moved up a day due to the state-wide shortage of referees.

The Crusaders found themselves with their backs against the wall early as Benton Harbor struck first after returning the opening kick off to the Crusader 19 yard line.

Davionte Tasker ran the final six yards, giving the Tigers a 6-0 lead.

MCC running back Joe Waller helped the Crusaders bounce back in the second quarter with a three-yard touchdown run and a 7-6 lead.

MCC continued their scoring in the second quarter with a 38-yard TD catch by Sam Convertini from QB Elliot Riegler. The Crusaders added a 2 point conversion by Waller, and led 15-6 at halftime.

After a stagnant third quarter, the Tigers opened up the fourth quarter with a five-yard run by Michael Kirby.

With just a 15-12 lead, MCC’s Convertini connected with Riegler again, this time from 10 yards out. The TD pass advanced MCC’s lead to 22-12.

The Crusaders capped scoring off In the waning moments of the game on a 1-yard scoring rumble from Joe Waller and 29-12 win.

“Benton Harbor is an excellent club who’s record doesn’t reflect how good they are” said MCC Coach Steve Czerwon. “We need to continue to get better as the season progresses.”

Joe Waller led MCC’s rushing attack with 120 yards and two touchdowns, while David Hill contributed with 43yds.

Riegler tossed for 77 yards with Sam Convertini being Riegler’s lone receiver.

Defensively, Jaden Johnson paced the Crusaders with five tackles.

The 3-1 Crusaders travel next week to face off with the 4-0 Muskegon Heights Tigers in a Lakes 8 conference battle.