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Strong second half leads Detroit Catholic Central past Grandville in Division 1 regional final

Football   | Jeff Dullack

Strong second half leads Detroit Catholic Central past Grandville in Division 1 regional final

Novi – Saturday’s matchup between Detroit Catholic Central and Grandville featured two teams with old-school tendencies, preferring to run and possess the ball for long periods of time.

And in the second half, that’s exactly what proved to be the difference for the Shamrocks.

Behind its rushing attack and play from quarterback Austin Brown, Catholic Central dominated the time of possession battle in the second half as the Shamrocks earned a 28-14 win over Grandville to advance to the Division 1 semifinals.

In the semifinals, the Shamrocks will face Romeo, last year’s Division 1 state champion, who eliminated Catholic Central from the playoffs in the 2015 regional final.

Catholic Central head coach Tom Mach said his team’s ability to sustain long drives in the second half and keep the Grandville offense on the sidelines was key to his team’s win.

“Those were very important,” he said. “They (Grandville) are very dangerous, very difficult to stop and we were glad to just stop them enough to give our offense a chance to move the ball. The idea was, of course, to keep the ball away from them otherwise they’ll be keeping it away from us and scoring.”

The Shamrocks (12-0) opened up the second half with a 13-play, 90 yard scoring drive that lasted over six minutes and was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Nick Capatina to extend Catholic Central’s lead to 21-7 with 5:42 left in the third quarter.

Grandville (10-2) would respond with a long scoring drive of its own as the Bulldogs would march 75 yards down the field in 12 plays to cut the deficit to 21-14 after a Josh Atwell touchdown run from 10 yards out.

“One of our big keys in the last two weeks