Muskegon Catholic Central celebrates # 500 victory in Muskegon Heights rout

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A Muskegon Catholic Center player during the Muskegon Center and North Catholic High School football game at Muskegon Catholic High School in Muskegon on Friday August 27, 2021 (Annie Barker | MLive.com)Annie Barker | [email protected]

MUSKEGON – Few of Michigan’s football programs have achieved the long-term success that Muskegon Catholic Central has enjoyed since its inception in 1952.

The Crusaders won 15 State Grill Trophies between 1980 and 2016, which rank third in MHSAA history and have maintained a winning record in 53 of its 69 seasons. Muskegon Catholic added another achievement to his resume last Friday, as the Crusaders claimed their 500th win as a program with a 52-20 victory over Muskegon Heights Academy.

Muskegon Catholic Central becomes the first school founded after 1929 to reach the 500-win milestone as a football program.

For current head coach Steve Czerwon, who also served as the Crusaders quarterback from 1992 to 1994, the chance to celebrate the longevity of the Crusaders program has been an emotional moment.

“I think it means a lot to everyone involved in the Catholic community in Muskegon,” he said. “A lot of people came before us and were a part of that, so it was really a special time tonight to reach this milestone as a program. I think this is really a testament to the continuity that we have had across several generations and it is a testament to everyone who is committed to getting involved in Muskegon Catholic Central football.

The 2021 Muskegon Catholic soccer team made sure the celebratory victory was impressive, as they outscored the Tigers 24-0 in the third quarter to pull away for a critical victory on the Conference road. Eight Lakes.

Elliot Riegler finished the game with 134 rushing yards for the Crusaders, while Joe Waller added 82 rushing yards and two touchdowns and David Hill had 85 rushing yards.

Ja’Kari Edwards rushed for 115 rushing yards and added 227 passing yards to punctuate Muskegon Heights’ offense.

“We handled the ball pretty well in the second half against them and our quarterback Elliot Riegler played really well,” Czerwon said. “I think he was 5 for 7 throwing the ball and those completions really helped keep our workouts moving. He did a really good job directing our attack and pushing everything forward on the offensive side.

“Our defense has been playing well most of the year and that’s one of our greatest strengths as a team. I think we’re really starting to play fast in defense and grab the ball well, and we’ve continued to improve in those areas over the last few weeks.

Muskegon Catholic (5-1) will host Manistee next Friday for Homecoming, while Muskegon Heights (4-2) are currently scheduled for a week off due to the lost season of Orchard View.

“We’re going to celebrate more (500 wins) next week in our comeback,” Czerwon said. “We will have (Mike) Holmes back, along with other former coaches like (Dean) Jewett and Ken Diamond, and we will have a little recognition of the accomplishment in front of our home fans after the game.”

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