MENDON, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time in the last five seasons, Muskegon Catholic Central suffered a loss in postseason play.
Mendon was able to knock off MCC after scoring 19 straight points in the second half to secure a 26-15 victory.
The Crusaders’ last loss came at the hands of Harper Beach in the 2012 Division 8 state semifinal.
MCC opened the scoring with on a Caleb Muskovin 23-yard field goal in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead.
Mendon’s Wyatt Cool scored the first of his three touchdowns on the ensuing drive with a 21-yard rushing touchdown to give the Hornets a 7-3 lead.
Muskegon Catholic Central scored the next two touchdowns of the game.
Late in the first quarter, Cameron Martinez found Nolan Convertini on a 22-yard passing touchdown. The Crusaders followed that up with a Martinez 36-yard strike to Ryder Smith just before half, building a 15-7 advantage going into halftime.
Mendon received the kick to start the second half, and ended its drive with Cool scoring his second touchdown of the day on a 1-yard rush. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, the Crusaders held a 15-13 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Cool scored again to give Mendon a 19-15 advantage, a lead the Hornets never relinquished.3
Austin Rensi put the game out of reach with under two minutes to play with a short scamper to the end zone, extending the Mendon lead to 26-15.
“We always say we’ve taken pride knowing the road to Ford Field goes through Mendon. We had to get ourselves back in that situation. It’s sweet. It really is.” said head coach Robert Kretschman. “Hats off to Steve (Czerwon) and that program and everything they’ve accomplished. It’s always something when you can beat them because you know they’re well coached and well prepared. It’s a great measuring stick for our program as well.”
Crusaders head coach Steve Czerwon had a clear message for his team after the heartbreaking loss.
“I just thanked them for their hard work,” he said. “These kids worked extremely hard and you’re not going to win every playoff game. That’s the reality of life. These kids worked extremely hard and should be proud of all they accomplished.”
Mendon improved to 11-0 and advances to the Division 8 regional semifinals against Climax-Scotts next week.