Muskegon CC uses big second half to power past Munising, wins second straight D-8 title
Detroit – While Muskegon Catholic Central cruised into the Division 8 state championship game, the Crusaders didn’t get off to the best of starts on Friday morning.
Call it what you will, maybe a layover from Thanksgiving or simply that it was a 10 a.m. start.
But when C.C. got going in the second half, there was little Munising could do to stop it.
After holding a narrow four point lead at halftime, C.C. dominated in the second half as the Crusaders rolled to a 31-6 win over Munising to win its second straight Division 8 state championship.
C.C. coach Steve Czerwon said that he felt his team was able to wear down Munising in the second half and added that conditioning was a focus of his throughout the week leading up to Friday.
“I think the linemen said something along the lines of they thought they were getting tired, so let’s keep pushing on them, so I think that was part of it,” he said. “We worked this week on conditioning, we went over to the pool at Muskegon high school and did some conditioning in there to get used to running around in the warm weather. They (Munising) were playing up in the Superior Dome (Marquette) and they practiced there this week and I don’t think we can match that, but we tried to simulate it as best we could, because we thought fatigue would be a factor.”
Coming out of the break with a 10-6 lead, C.C. strung together a 10-play drive that drained nearly half of the third quarter clock, capped off by a 1-yard run by senior running back
Tommy Scott to push the Crusader’s lead to 17-6 with 6:25 left in the third quarter.
But Scott wasn’t done there.
On the next drive for C.C., Scott took off on a 30 yard touchdown run as he dragged defenders the final five yards on his way into the end zone to give the Crusaders a 24-6 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter.
“It felt great,” said Scott of his four touchdowns. “To do that with this group of guys and get the win was great.”
Then, with 7:44 left to play in the game, Scott scored his fourth touchdown of the day as he scored on a nine yard run to make it 31-6.
“It just speaks to their hard work,” said Czerwon on his senior class going out with a second state title. “They put in so much hard work in the offseason, they’re great kids, they’re coachable, they buy into the schemes that we have and they do anything we ask them to do. I told them before the game and I’ll say it now, I made a commitment and the coaches made a commitment a long time ago that we were going to put a better product on the field this year. Making sure that everyone got their workouts in the weight room, got the offseason running in, and do everything that we could do to have good clean practices.”
Scott scored the first touchdown of the game for C.C., a 99 yard kickoff return for a touchdown early in the first quarter to give the Crusaders a 7-6 lead, moments after Munising took a 6-0 lead on a 74 yard pass from Austin Kelto to Andy Cooper.
The kickoff return tied for the longest in state championship history.
A 25 yard field goal by Griffin Seymour with 2:37 left in the first half gave C.C. a 10-6 lead.