Northville — If there was any doubt Detroit Catholic Central would again be a factor in the Division 1 playoffs, they were removed on Friday.
C.C. (8-2) scored 21 points in the second quarter, forced three turnovers and defeated upstart Northville, 35-14, in a pre-district game.
C.C. will play at Walled Lake Western (9-1) in a district final at 7 p.m. next Friday.
C.C. reached the championship game each of the past two seasons, but last week’s 20-7 loss to Birmingham Brother Rice in the Catholic League championship had some wondering if C.C. had lost its edge.
Dylan Roney, a fullback-linebacker and a team captain, said last week’s game is history. Roney said his team renewed its goals and is good enough to make a return trip to Ford Field.
“Last week we couldn’t get a first down,” he said. “The Catholic League is a tough league. It’s a new season. Last week our offense was non-existent, including me. The offensive line stepped up. We have the talent (to reach the title game) but, most importantly, we have the heart.”
C.C. did not attempt a pass in the first half and led 21-7.
Zach Bock provided the first big play as he ran 67 yards on a reverse for a touchdown to give C.C. a 14-7 lead with 4:22 left in the half.
Two plays later, Cameron Hendershot returned a fumble 46 yards for a touchdown and C.C. led 21-7.
C.C. did not commit a turnover and had its rushing attack in high gear as it rushed for 205 yards in the first half, 335 for the game.
Northville committed two turnovers in the first half and not once did it have good field position. Of its five possessions just once did it start from beyond its 20-yard line, and that was on its 26.
After a scoreless third quarter, Connor Holton, who had his best game of the season, ran 22 yards for a touchdown and a 28-7 lead.
His 55-yard touchdown midway through the fourth put the game away.
Holton rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Bock added 78 on eight carries and Roney rushed for 45 yards on eight attempts.
“I was happy with our team’s preparation,” C.C. coach Tom Mach said. “You don’t know about (winning a title) right now. They have the dedication. They have the determination.
“We showed some different things tonight. We started the game wanting to open it up more. We wanted to stretch things and we did a great job of blocking. Connor has been steady all year. Tonight he showed some great speed.”
Statistically, Northville quarterback Joey Hewlett had a solid game, rushing for 95 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries and completing 14 of 25 passes for 177 yards and another touchdown, but his two interceptions and a handful of dropped passes kept Northville (8-2) out of its normal offensive flow.
“We knew coming in this would be our toughest game,” coach Matt Ladach said. “We had to maintain possession of the football and we had to be the team to make the big plays. And we weren’t.”