By Craig Beilfuss

MUSKEGON–The Muskegon Catholic Central Crusaders will be counting on its ground game to come through again on Friday night.

The Crusaders will travel to Reed City to take on the Coyotes in a Division 6 district championship game.

The Coyotes, members of the Central States Activities Association (CSAA), bring a 9-1 record into the game while the independent Crusader are 8-2.

Both teams had blowout wins in pre-district action last Friday with Reed City cruising past Montague 44-15 while Muskegon Catholic blew out Kent City 42-14.

MCC veteran coach Steve Czerwon and Reed City coach Scott Shankel both will be relying on their ground game and, of course their defenses to stop the opposing team’s running game.

“Reed City is a very physical team,” MCC coach Steve Czerwon said. “They have three capable backs, a quarterback who throws well and an offensive line that plays downhill. On defense, they run to the ball and cover well.  Teams have not had much success on them this year.

“Overall, we need to play sound football, get some stops on defense and find a way to move the ball on offense,” he said.
In last week’s win over Kent City, sophomore quarterback Bryan Convertini rushed 19 times for 141 yards and three first-half touchdowns while senior running back David Hill added 12 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown.

In all, MCC rushed 36 times for 277 yards against the Eagles.

“MCC is a very well coached team that has very disciplined players,” Reed City coach Scott Shankel said. “They run multiple formations which makes them very hard to defend and have good athletes which makes it even tougher. They are very disciplined on defense and run to the ball very well.”
That means the battles in the trenches will be keys to the game.
“For us to be successful we need to win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, win the turnover battle, and finish every play until the whistle,” Shankel said.
In last week’s pre-district game, Montague’s defense had no answers for the Coyotes’ rushing attack. Bryson Hughes led the Coyote ground game with 27 carries for 186 yards. John Ondrus rushed for 185 yards and Noah Morgan chipped in 67 yards on 15 carries.
Morgan, a senior, led the Coyotes’ ground game during the regular season with 725 yards. He scored 11 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Xavier Allen only completed 39 passes during the regular season, but that included 650 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Senior Logan Langworthy led the Reed City defense with 84 tackles. 
The MCC-Reed City winner will face the winner of the Millington-Standish-Sterling game.