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Two of the area’s best teams, a pair of defending State Champions nonetheless, faced off at Fifth Third Ballpark on Friday night in a huge OK Blue Conference battle. Catholic Central entered this contest unbeaten and ranked #4 in the Remax-United Power Poll, while West Catholic entered on a six-game winning streak that placed them at #8 in the rankings.

In the first quarter of the contest, both teams defenses held strong, with the lone scoring play coming on a three-yard pass from Gaetano Vallone to Nick Dorato to give West Catholic a 7-0 lead. The second quarter saw the scoring pick up on both sides however, as the area’s top running back Nolan Fugate contributed a pair of touchdown runs. In addition to these scores, the vaunted Catholic Central defense got a fumble return for a touchdown by Erik Grabow. A deep pass from Vallone to Dorato just before the half would cut the deficit to 21-14 as the teams headed into the locker room.

The second half continued with more offense, but it was never enough for West Catholic. They drew as close as one-point, but their conversion try fell unsuccessful, leaving them behind the Cougars the entire last half of the ballgame. Offensively for the Falcons, they were led by Vallone, who was 16 of 22 for 183 yards and a trio of touchdown tosses, and he added 132 yards on the ground on 20 carries. He accounted for all but seventeen of West Catholic’s total yards on Friday night. For Catholic Central, they were led by Fugate who took 32 carries and turned them into 135 yards and two touchdowns. Jack Bowen also had a solid day under center as he was an effective eight for twelve with 151 yards and two touchdowns.

With the win, Catholic Central clinches a share of the OK Blue Championship, and they will wrap up league play next week at Coopersville. West Catholic will wrap up their regular season at home against Allendale.


1Q 7:48WC 7-0Vallone 3yd pass to Dorato
2Q 11:257-7 tiedFugate 2yd run
2Q 8:47CC 14-7Grabow 57yd FR
2Q 1:29CC 21-7Fugate 12yd run
2Q 0:35CC 21-14Vallone 48yd pass to Dorato
3Q 5:49CC 21-20Lee 1yd run
3QCC 28-20Bowen 38yd pass to Trudeau
4QCC 28-26Scott 12yd run
4Q 3:09CC 35-26Fugate 6yd run
4Q 1:45CC 35-33Vallone 18yd pass to Scott