Defense is unquestionably the strong point of the 2020 Muskegon Catholic Central football team.
This was shown again on Friday night as the second-ranked Crusaders recorded their fifth consecutive shutout. They shut out the visit of Harrison, 28-0, in a Division 6 second-round district game.
The only questions now: against which opponent in the district final will the MCC (8-0) trigger this defense next week at Kehren Stadium? And who will play the Crusaders quarterback?
The MCC will face the winner of Saturday’s undefeated battle between Montague and Clare, scheduled for 1 p.m. in Montague.
“The defense played well again. Their possession time was pretty strong for us, but we ended up with a shutout again, so that was positive. The defense played really well, ”MCC coach Steve Czerwon said in a telephone interview after his team extended their runs scored / allowed points margin to 341-18.
The Crusaders’ quick and fluid defense allowed just six of those 18 points.
Friday night against Harrison (5-3), the MCC allowed 164 yards of total attack, 157 rushing by the Hornets at strong rush. Conversely, the Crusaders rushed for 236 yards and amassed 311 in all-out offense.
Junior Joe Waller led the MCC with 12 carries for 112 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring with 4:24 left in the first quarter. Seniors Tommy Kartes and Max Price both scored on 1-yard runs, and junior Dane Rutz received a 21-yard TD from Price for the Crusaders, who were leading 21-0 at halftime.
Price left the game at the end of the first half after suffering an injury. He has not returned and his status for the district final is uncertain, according to Czerwon.
Junior Elliot Riegler stepped in at QB for MCC. Voted MLive Muskegon Chronicle player of the week in a fan poll, Riegler completed his only pass for 33 yards.
Defensively, sophomore Sam Kartes paced the MCC with seven tackles, while senior Richie Ward had six. Tommy Kartes and senior Gunner Stout made five saves each, while junior Nick Powell made four tackles, including one sack, for the very balanced Crusader team.
For Harrison, Logan Yost rushed 16 times for 84 yards. Hunter Davis completed 1 of 6 passes for 7 yards. Ethan VanAntwerp punctuated the Hornets’ defense with eight tackles.
The next opponent is to be guessed, although many locally have anticipated a No.1 vs. No.2 showdown between Montague and Muskegon Catholic Central.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t spend a lot of time on either team,” said Czerwon, who recently saw Clare on film in his scout of Harrison, who is a rival to the Pioneers. at the Jack Pine Conference. “I know Clare is a bit more spread out and Montague is more downhill – the big line and the big quarterback. “
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