Photo Courtesy of Louis Murray

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In four of the past five postseasons, Unity Christian and Catholic Central have faced off in the state playoffs. The two schools split the four matchups, yet today’s game had the biggest playoff ramifications, as the winner would advance to Ford Field. On the back of junior tailback Nolan Fugate, Catholic Central advanced to their fifth State Championship with a 31-3 rout of Unity Christian.

Just twenty four seconds into the game, Fugate got the ball rolling as he burst through the Crusader defense and he scored from 87 yards out. The two teams exchanged field goals, before Fugate added a pair of touchdowns to end the second quarter. Catholic took a 24-3 lead into the locker room. Fugate finished the game with three touchdowns and 274 yards rushing on 23 carries.

In the second half, Antonio Strong scored his first touchdown of the afternoon as he ran from twelve yards out early in the fourth quarter, the only scoring from either side after halftime. The rushing game from Catholic Central was strong as they rushed 40 times for 375 yards and four touchdowns. Due to the brisk temperature and heavy winds, the Cougars only attempted two passes throughout the entire ballgame. Catholic Central also outgained the Crusaders 367-114.

Overshadowed by the explosive offense, Catholic Central’s defense held a Unity Christian offense that averaged 34 points to just a first quarter field goal, their lowest offensive display since Catholic Central shut them out in the 2012 playoffs.

With the win, Catholic Central advances to their State Championship game since 2010, when they defeated Williamston. This Friday night, they will take on Detroit Country Day who is 13-0 on the season for the Division 4 State Championship.


TimeScoreScoring Play
1Q 11:36CC 7-0Fugate 87yd run.
1Q 2:55UC 7-328yd FG.
2Q 11:10CC 10-322yd FG.
2Q 8:03CC 17-3Fugate 1yd run.
2Q 0:56CC 24-3Fugate 2yd run.
4Q 11:20CC 31-3Strong 12yd run.