The Muskegon Catholic Central Crusaders are one of the state’s most successful programs. Dating back to their first season in 1953, the Crusaders have won 13 State Championships (1974, 1980, 1982, 1990, 1991, 1995, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). On Friday night, they secured at least a share of the Lakes 8 Championship, as well as the program’s 500th victory.
In the first quarter, the teams swapped touchdowns. Elliot Riegler and Sam Convertini got MCC started with a 33-yard pass that went for a score. Ja’Kari Edwards evened the count on his 63-yard sprint to the end zone.
In the second quarter, the Crusaders built a lead. Reigler got started with a 1-yard quarterback keeper. He would add another rushing score, a 19-yard boot with 45 seconds left in the half. Trailing by fourteen, Muskegon Heights struck on a deep pass. Edwards found Ashton Smith, who completed the 72-yard touchdown with a sprint to the end zone. With just two seconds left in the half, Sam Convertini hauled in a 30-yard touchdown. This gave Muskegon Catholic a 28-12 advantage at halftime.
The third quarter was all Muskegon Catholic. The Crusaders scored three touchdowns to extend their lead to forty points, 52-12. Joe Waller rushed for the first two scores, on carries of 6 and 37 yards. Bryan Convertini capped off the quarter with a 25-yard run.
In the fourth quarter, Muskegon Heights scored the final touchdown of the game. Ja’Kari Edwards tossed the ball to Ashton Smith, who raced 57 yards to the end zone.
This was the 31st victory in 42 tires for Muskegon Catholic against Muskegon Heights. Of their 500 wins, they have beaten the following teams at least 10 times: Mona Shores (35), Muskegon Heights (31), Orchard View (22), Benton Harbor (18), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (18), West Catholic (18), Grand Haven (17), Reeths Puffer (13), Traverse City St Francis (12), Traverse City Central (10), Ravenna (10), Manistee (10) and Ludington (10).
Muskegon Catholic Central will finish Lakes 8 play against Manistee next week. If they win, the Crusaders will be outright Lakes 8 champions in the league’s final season. Muskegon Heights is currently without a game, as Orchard View cancelled their season.