Photo courtesy of Lou Murray: Check out pictures of the game here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45681226@N02/albums/72157711921937441
The Cougars of Catholic Central were hoping to return to Ford Field for the fourth time this decade. Standing in their way were the defending champions in Division 5, the Unity Christian Crusaders. In dominating fashion, the Cougars advanced to next weekend’s State Championship game, scoring fourteen points in each quarter in a 56-17 victory.
Nick Hollern got the game started with a one yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. On the ensuing drive, the Crusaders got to midfield before Matthew Moore stepped in front of a pass and returned it fifty yards to the end zone. This touchdown gave the Cougars a 14-0 advantage after the first quarter.
On the first drive of the second quarter, Unity Christian got on the board. They got a forty yard touchdown run by quarterback Isaac TeSlaa to bring them within seven points. Catholic Central responded with a scoring drive of their own. Quarterback Joey Silveri used his legs for a twelve yard scramble to extend the lead back out to fourteen. On their next drive, Silveri broke free for a thirty seven yard touchdown to push the margin to twenty one. Right before the half, the Crusaders got a forty eight yard field goal by Grant Balcer to make it 28-10 as the teams entered the locker room.
In the third quarter, the Cougars wasted no time in finding the end zone. Hollern capped off a one minute drive by plunging into the end zone from a yard out. After pitching a defensive stop, they struck again. This time, it was Silveri’s third touchdown run of the game. This sixty five yard scramble made it 42-10 entering the final quarter of play.
Forty seconds into the fourth, Silveri ran his fourth touchdown of the game, a four yarder. On the ensuing Unity Christian drive, they committed another turnover that resulted in a touchdown. Nolan Ziegler intercepted the ball and returned it fourteen yards to the end zone. Before things were over, TeSlaa connected with Jackson Bush for a fourteen yard touchdown pass. This brought the game to its final 56-17 score.
With the victory, the Cougars advance to the Division 4 State Championship game next Friday night. This game will be played at 7:30 PM against Detroit Country Day at Ford Field. The Yellowjackets of DCD advanced to the title game with a 21-0 shutout victory against Flint Powers Catholic. Country Day is undefeated in 2019, allowing just 67 points.