The Catholic of Lansing turns out to be too much for Montague in D6 regional

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Alex Watters (5) of Lansing Catholic celebrates after a fourth quarter catch during the MHSAA Division 5 football championship game at Ford Field in Detroit on Saturday, November 30, 2019. Lansing Catholic won the game over Almont, 31-17.J. Scott Park | MLive.com

Lansing’s Catholic football program knew there was going to be a fight with the Montague Division 6 defending champion.

The Cougars hosted the Wildcats in regional Division 6 on Saturday and quickly found themselves back 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Lansing Catholic reacted quickly, however, beating Montague 24-0 to end half-time on a tidal wave of momentum. The Cougars sealed the deal in the second half thanks to an inspired defensive that secured a 31-13 win.

The Cougars (11-1) will face Standish Sterling (10-2) in the Division 6 semi-finals this coming weekend. The Panthers defeated Calumet 34-7 on Saturday.

Lansing Catholic surpassed Montague 300-166 in total length, including a 213-62 lead in passing.

Joey Baker passed 17-for-36 for 213 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions to lead Lansing’s Catholic offense, while Alex Watters stormed for 43 yards and one touchdown for 10 carries and four passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns caught.

Brandon Lewis caught four passes for 64 yards, Owen Biergans added five receptions for 60 yards.

Noah Knippen recorded 11 tackles, including three sacks to anchor the Catholic defenses of Lansing, while Bo Poljan added six tackles and one sack, and Biergans and Richards added four stops each.

Dylan Everett ran 99 yards and one touchdown on 25 attempts to lead the Montague offensive, Andrew Kooi was a 5v19 pass for 62 yards and one touchdown, and Izac Jarka caught a 22-yard touchdown pass.

Colton Blankstrom recorded nine tackles and one interception to lead the Montague defense, while Jarka added eight, Tugg Nichols had six and one interception, and Adam Baird and Silas Jancek each added five.

“Dylan has been a leader to us all year,” said Justin Dennett, Montague’s first year head coach. “He gets the whole offense going. He had a great season and another great game today. I’m just very happy with his commitment and how hard he played. We couldn’t prevail, but overall I was very satisfied with our performance as a team. “

Montague started the game quickly with an interception from Blankstrom that turned into a 3-yard touchdown run from Everett to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 2:45 in the first quarter.

Lansing Catholic responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Baker to Watters, who missed two Wildcat defenders in the opening field before racing into the end zone to tie the game 7-7. A Montague fumble put Lansing Catholic in a short field position and the Cougars responded with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Baker to Watters to give Lansing Catholic a 14-7 lead with 9:07 left in the first half .

It then began to snow on Montague when another fumble on the Lansing Catholic offensive gave Lansing Catholic a short space to work. The Cougars used a 1-yard pass from Baker to Dylan Farrar to extend the Catholics’ lead in Lansing to 21: 7 with 5:04 minutes in the second quarter.

Lansing Catholic added a 32-yard field goal from Jonah Richards after time ran out in the first half to give hosts Cougars a 24-7 lead at break.

“We were happy with the start of the game with the early interception and then scored points on the first drive,” added Dennett. “Unfortunately, those two sales somehow put us in a bad position in the second quarter. You have a really good offense; We gave them a great field position and they took advantage of it. That was pretty much the difference in the game right there. “

The Cougars added a 1-yard touchdown from Watters in the middle of the third quarter to increase their lead to 31-7. Montague added a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kooi to Jarka after five minutes to bring the game up to date.

The Montague defeat ends a three-year regional Wildcats championship series and marks the first time since 2011 that a football team from the Muskegon region has failed to reach the state semi-finals.

“We are happy with the way the season has gone,” said Dennett of his first season as head coach of the Wildcats. “We were hoping to run a little longer in the postseason, but we shared the conference championship, won a district title, and had a lot of positive results from the season.

“I told the boys to keep their heads up because they have a lot to be proud of. The seniors in particular had a great season and gave so much for this program. I also told the students that this is their time to do something during the off-season and prepare for the next year.

“We’ll have some new signings next season, but expectations remain the same. We want to try to keep this thing going. “

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