KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Nolan Fugate reached the end zone six times as Grand Rapids Catholic Central beat Kelloggsville 45-34 to claim a district title.
Catholic Central needed all of Fugate’s 277 yards on the ground and 73 yards receiving as Kelloggsville kept fighting back throughout the night.
It was a game of streaks. Fugate reached the end zone three times in the games first 13 minutes as the Cougars sprinted to a 21-0 lead.
Kelloggsville got back into the game with three touchdowns of their own in the final eight minutes of the first half, taking a 22-21 lead at the break.
Catholic Central’s coaches told the team to stay calm at halftime after giving up the big lead.
“There’s nothing that really needs to be said, and they know that,” coach Todd Kolster said. “We let them come back a little bit, but they deserve all the credit because they’re a good football team, so we just relaxed and we played a good second half.”
The Rockets pushed their streak to 28 straight points when quarterback Alex Guzman dove into the end zone with 7:18 left in the third quarter, giving Kelloggsville a 28-21 lead.
Then it was time for Fugate to get back into the end zone. He caught a 42-yard pass from Jack Bowen to tie the game up with 5:45 left in the third quarter.
After the Cougars stopped Kelloggsville’s fake punt, Fugate dashed into the end zone again, putting Catholic Central in front for good.
“Well Nolan is a special talent, as everybody saw here tonight and if you’ve seen us play before you know that,” Kolster said. “I’m really proud of him and I’m really proud of the whole line and our whole team.”
Fugate said the team learned some important lessons.
“When we got that lead we lost focus,” Fugate said. “We need to stay focused throughout the whole game, if we do that I think we’re a pretty dangerous team.”
Kloster discussed the school’s tradition of winning following the win.
“We have a great program, 107 years of Catholic Central football, but we don’t have too many back to back district titles,” Kolster said. “It’s really awesome to see these guys celebrate tonight.”
Kelloggsville fought to the end led by Guzman, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for another.
Catholic Central moves on to play Belding in the Division 4, Region 2 final.
**CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Catholic Central Coach Todd Kolster’s name. It has been corrected.