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Strong first half helps Muskegon Catholic Central past Muskegon Heights

Tribune Staff • Updated Sep 30, 2017 at 12:28 AM

After making plenty of splash plays on offense in recent weeks, it was the Muskegon Catholic Central defense and special teams unit that helped the Crusaders football squad fend off a pesky Muskegon Heights Academy team on Friday night.

The Crusaders returned a block punt and an interception for touchdowns with under a minute left in the second quarter to pull away for a 32-0 shutout win over the Tigers.

Muskegon Catholic Central took an early 6-0 lead when quarterback Cam Martinez scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 8:32 left in the first quarter.

Dawson Steigman would add a 2-yard run with 2:54 left in the first quarter and a 4-yard score with three minutes left in the second quarter to extend the Crusader lead to 20-0.

Then, sophomore Tiovanni Knight returned a blocked punt 20 yards for a score with 47 seconds remaining in the half.

On the next possession, the Tigers offense forced the issue through the passing game, and MCC senior defensive back Ryder Smith jumped in front of a pass and took it back 23 yards for a score to give the Crusaders a commanding 32-0 halftime lead.

Neither team was able to get much going in the second half, but the Crusader defense held up to force the road shutout.

Martinez finished with 100 yards rushing and one touchdown on 18 carries, while Tommy Watts added 48 yards on 11 carries and Steigman added 32 yards and two scores on eight carries.

Carson St. Amour added 31 yards rushing on five carries, while Avery Evans-Davis added 23 yards on eight carries.

The key to the game was rushing yards, as Muskegon Catholic Central held Muskegon Heights to 83 yards rushing on 26 carries, while the Crusaders rushed for 242 yards on 51 attempts.

Evans-Davis led the Crusaders’ defense with nine tackles, while Nolan Convetini added six stops. Smith, Jackson Riegler and Martinez each added one interception, while Riley St. Amour added a fumble recovery.

UP NEXT

Muskegon Catholic Central hosts Manistee (2-4) next week, while Muskegon Heights (3-3) hosts Orchard View (2-4).

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