Detroit Catholic Central rolls past Detroit Loyola, 45-14

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Novi — The last time Novi Detroit Catholic Central had won a Catholic League championship had been 2016.

So Saturday’s convincing 45-14 victory over Detroit Loyola was a return to normalcy in the eyes of CC quarterback Declan Byle.

“It’s nice to get CC back rolling where it should be,” Byle said.“

Mohamed Jaffer (22) of Detroit Catholic Central runs with the football in the second half.

There was no doubt who was the better team in Saturday’s Bishop Division title game at CC — not at Ford Field, where it’s normally held.

“To be able to play at home, for the Catholic League championship, it’s incredible,” CC coach Dan Anderson said. “It’s a strange new world we’re in.”

Catholic Central (6-0) was dominant in every phase of the game, and with the state playoffs beginning next week — district pairings will be released Sunday — CC might be peaking.

“Going into the playoffs you want to be starting to climb, and I think we are,” CC coach Dan Anderson said. “We’re on a path. We’re not there yet, we have a lot of work to do, but we are heading in the right direction for sure.”

Catholic Central's defense was dominant, forcing six Loyola turnovers in the first half alone.

CC consistently pressured Loyola quarterback Anthony Garrett, grabbing two first half interceptions that led to scores.

“Our defense all year has been our strength,” Anderson said. “Especially our defensive line, which has done a great job up front. We’re able to kind of force teams to run the ball. Not everybody is comfortable throwing the ball all the time. 

“We put pressure on him. We were in his face when he was throwing.”

CC led 38-0 at halftime, with the second half going briskly on a running clock.

Byle threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Owen Semp and 5 yards and 32 yards to Michael Ramirez, running back Connor Bell scored from 4 yards and 1 yard, and Danny Scott from 1 yard, and Charlie Mentzer kicked a 26-yard field goal.

Loyola scored twice late in the game, with Michael McFarland scooping up a fumble in the end zone, and Garrett finding Jason Hardy on a 30-yard touchdown catch.

Loyola (5-1) is a Division 7 team that was playing a premier Division 1 program and will take the positives heading into the state playoffs.

“We played, arguably, the most impressive team in the state,” Loyola coach Kevin Rogers said. “It was a tough task. The good thing is, we’ve overcome some adversities and made it here and we only have nine seniors. We’ll take the good with the bad.

“We have everything still ahead of us. We just have to keep our morale, a 45-14 game is demoralizing, but we have strong leadership.”

C-D Division Championship

Clarkston Everest Collegiate won its third consecutive C-D championship with a 35-0 victory over Riverview Gabriel Richard.

Everest quarterback Giovanni Mastromatteo threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Joey Thibodeau and 50-yards to Jimmy Neme, and running back Jack Lasceski scored on runs of 58 and 1 yards, keying the offensive attack.

“We have one last one ride and we’re going to get there (state finals) hopefully, and win,” Mastromatteo said of the ultimate goal.

The Everest program is only eight years old, but has already become a powerhouse within the Catholic League.

“We just keep building and the younger kids come in and see it and want to keep building,” coach Mike Pruchnicki said. “You try to set your goals high and we try to reach those goals and we go after it.

“I’m hoping we’re not done yet.”

An Everest goal-line stand at the end of the first quarter, with Everest holding a 7-0 lead, completely turned the momentum its way.

“It comes down to three or four plays a game, and we found those plays today,” Pruchnicki said. “That was good to see, that goal-line stand was huge and our defense stepped up again and did a wonderful job.”

Twitter: @tkulfan