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DIVISION 4: Jace Williams’ 3 TD catches lead Grand Rapids Catholic Central past Country Day, 44-0, for third title in four seasons

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, November 29, 2019, 10:19 pm

DETROIT — The only time Jace Williams was stymied for an answer in Friday’s Division 4 championship game was when he was asked if he’d seen his accomplishment flashed on the big screen at Ford Field.

“No, I didn’t even see it,” the junior wideout from Grand Rapids Catholic Central said. “What did it say?”

The notice said that Williams had tied an MHSAA finals record in GRCC’s 44-0 rout of Detroit Country Day, becoming the ninth player with three touchdown catches in a championship game, and the first in six seasons.

For Grand Rapids Catholic Central (13-1), it is a fifth state title, and third in four seasons. 

Country Day (13-1) came in unbeaten, having only allowed an average of five points per contest, and no more than 12 points to any opponent.

Williams matched that in the first nine minutes of the game, scoring on 15- and 14-yard passes from Joe Silveri. He missed a chance at the third TD catch just before the half, but made up for it with the record-tying catch with 10:10 left in the game, catching a 10-yard pass from Silveri, who added two scoring runs of his own.

Silveri’s 53-yard run made it 18-0 after the first quarter, then he hit Drew Gommesen in the second quarter to make it 24-0 at the half. Silveri’s second scoring run, a 1-yard plunge, made it 30-0 in the third, then defensive lineman Jake Passinault returned an interception 18 yards for a score to make it 38-0 with 5:09 left in the third. Passinault picked off the pass after two Cougar defenders converged on Danny MacLean, who was attempting a double pass. 

Silveri rushed for 139 yards and threw for 236 and four scores.

Country Day has now lost its last five title-game appearances.