Mustangs run out of gas vs. Crusaders

DETROIT, Mich. – Munising gave Muskegon Catholic Central everything they could handle for 33 minutes, before the Crusaders pulled away in the final 15 minutes to win the MHSAA Division 8 title game, 31-6. With the victory, MCC won its second straight Division 8 state championship.

Munising threw the first punch of the game through the air. Mustangs quarterback Austin Kelto connected with wide receiver Andy Cooper on a 74-yard strike, giving Munising a 6-0 lead.

The Crusaders took the momentum right back from the Mustangs on the ensuing kickoff. Tommy Scott, who was named the Associated Press’ Player of the Year in Divisions 7-8, took the kickoff return 100-yards for the score, making it 7-6 MCC.

Muskegon Catholic added three points late in the first half on a 25-yard field goal by Griffin Seymour to make it a 10-6 in favor of the Crusaders at the half.

The Crusaders found the end zone to open the second half. Scott completed a 10 play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard run to the lead to 17-6. Scott finished the game with 21 carries for 96 yards and four touchdowns.

Munising finished the season with a 12-2 record. Before Friday, the Mustangs last appearance in a state championship game was in 1980.

In his final game as a Mustang, Garrett Blank had 21 carries for 68 yards. Kelto was 4-of-7 through the air for 105 yards and one touchdown. Junior Brent Brock led the Mustangs on defense with seven solo tackles.

The Ishpeming Hematites are the other U.P. team in a MHSAA championship game. They will face Detroit Loyola in the Division 7 final Saturday at 10 a.m.