- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - A fourth quarter touchdown run by senior quarterback Christian Martinez was all Muskegon Catholic Central needed to win its third consecutive Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 8 state championship.

Martinez’s 8-yard scamper came with 10:20 left to play Friday at Ford Field in Detroit. The Crusaders’ defense handled the rest in a 7-0 win over Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.

The win gave Muskegon Catholic Central its 11th state title in program history.

“I don’t think anybody who followed these two teams expected the score to be 7-0, but that’s what it turned out to be,” Muskegon Catholic Central coach Steve Czerwon said. “I’m extremely happy we were able to gut it out.”

The Crusaders (11-2) intercepted Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes quarterback Clay Senerius four times, including a game-clinching grab in the end zone by Muskegon Catholic Central’s Walker Christoffersen with 3:21 remaining in the game. Friday was the first time the Lakers (13-1) have been held to less than 32 points this season.

“I just didn’t make the reads. I did not have a good game,” said Senerius, who passed for more than 3,000 yards this season and led the Lakers to a school-record number of wins and points scored. He completed 17 of 27 passes for 193 yards on Friday.

Czerwon said the Lakers are the first passing team his Crusaders have faced since a season-opening, 45-26 loss to Muskegon Oakridge.

“We’ve had good success stopping everybody’s run this year, but (Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes) can really throw the ball well,” Czerwon said. “We had an outstanding week of practice. We have our share of athletes as well, and when they were asked to make plays, they made plays.”

Christoffersen’s second interception of the game came after Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes responded to Muskegon Catholic Central’s touchdown with a 16-play drive - extended by a pair of fourth-down conversions - that reached the Crusaders’ 13-yard-line.

“During practice this week, all we did was go over stay deep, stay on your man and don’t let anything behind you,” Christoffersen said. “That’s what I did. (The Lakers’ receiver) ran a flag route and I knew that if I got to him in time I could break on the ball.”

It was the third time during the game that the Lakers came up empty after advancing inside the Muskegon Catholic Central 20-yard line. That drive followed a missed field goal and turnover on downs in the first half.

“I thought we moved the ball relatively well. We just didn’t execute in the red zone,” said Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes coach Josh Sawicki, whose team outgained Muskegon Catholic Central 241 yards to 215 yards. “The play at the end is the one everybody is going to remember, but we had our shots there in the first half.”

Along with his two interceptions, Christoffersen led the Crusaders’ offense with 113 rushing yards on 18 attempts. Martinez and LaTommy Scott contributed 45 and 44 rushing yards, respectively.

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