On Friday night, the Crusaders opened the Division 6 football playoffs with a dominating rushing attack that led to a 42-14 victory over Kent City.
Sophomore quarterback Bryan Convertini rushed 19 times for 141 yards and three first-half touchdowns. Senior running back David Hill added 12 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown.
In all, MCC rushed 36 times for 277 yards.
“That’s the plan every week,” said Crusader coach Steve Czerwon of his team’s rushing attack. “They both did a very good job for us. Bryan plays quarterback for us and also some halfback in certain situations. We try to take advantage of his versatility.
“David (Hill) does a nice job running from the slot and also the halfback position,” Czerwon said. “Both of those guys are real versatile and the stats usually bear that out by the end of the game.”
MCC (8-2) will face Reed City next week in the second round of the playoffs.
On Friday, the Crusaders led 7-0 after one quarter on a 24-yard run by Convertini. He scored two touchdowns in the second half on runs of 13 and 5 yards. The final touchdown of the half came in the final minute and gave the Crusaders a 14-7 lead.
In the third quarter, Convertini hit Henry Rosema on a 20-yard touchdown run. That was followed by a 26-yard run by Hill and a 9-yard run by Vince Szymanski.
“I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half, in all honesty,” Czerwon said. “I thought we came out a little more motivated in the second half and I think it really showed.”
Sam Kartes led the MCC defense with 13 tackles.
Kent City’s touchdowns came in the first half on a 55-yard pass from Zane Kik to Baker and Webb Longcore caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Kyler Larson in the second half.
Larson completed 11-of-17 passes for 135 yards. Caden Hartzell rushed nine times for 38 yards and Baker had two receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Chase Moreno had nine tackles. Webb Longcore, Will Harrison and Jake Perry had four each.
“We’re playing Division 6 this year, which is a bigger division that we have played in the past,” Czerwon said. “Going up to Reed City and I don’t think we’ve played them since I was in high school. That will definitely be a challenge.”