The Muskegon Catholic Central Crusaders entered Friday’s District Finals against Ravenna with an 8-1 record that included two thrilling victories in the late season. One of those came against Oakridge, a co-champion of the West Michigan Conference. In this week’s District Final, MCC faced off with Ravenna, the fourth place team in the WMC. Perhaps that fact alone should have indicated that the Crusaders were going to cruise to a victory, 50-14.
In the first quarter, the Crusaders took a 14-0 lead. On their opening drive, Elliot Riegler aired it out to Chase Willer on a 12-yard touchdown toss. Later in the frame, David Hill powered across the goal line from 2 yards out. A conversion pass to Willer gave MCC a 14-0 lead.
Two minutes into the second quarter, Riegler used his legs to extend the lead. His 18-yard quarterback keeper put the Crusaders ahead by 20. Ravenna would finally stop the drought with a touchdown of their own. Hunter Hogan carried the football, scoring from a yard out, while booting the extra point. A touchdown run by Joe Waller gave MCC a 26-7 advantage heading into the locker room.
Muskegon Catholic Central continued the momentum offensively throughout the next seventeen minutes to pad this lead. Joe Waller (31 yards), David Hill (36 yards) and Dane Rutz (5 yards) all rushed for touchdowns after halftime. Ravenna snapped the 30-point run with the game’s final touchdown. Dayton Thomas rushed for a 1-yard score to bring the game to it’s final count, 50-14.
The Crusaders outgained Ravenna 449-291, with 388 rushing yards. David Hill led the way with 18 carries and 201 yards. Nick Powell (82 yards) and Joe Waller (65) added to the rushing tally. Kyle Beebe was 21/29 passing for Ravenna, with 226 yards. Hunter Hogan led the rushers with 37 yards on the ground for the Bulldogs.
A lengthy drought, by Muskegon Catholic Central standards, was snapped by securing the program’s first District Championship since 2016. That year, the Crusaders won the Division 8 State Championship for the fourth straight time. This go-around, they will be pursuing the Division 7 crown. Standing in their way of a Regional Championship are the undefeated Lawton Blue Devils, one of the state’s highest-powered offenses. Lawton defeated Union City 35-6 in the district finals, the team’s lowest offensive output of the year. That regional championship will be hosted by the Crusaders next week.