DETROIT (WOOD) — For Grand Rapids Catholic Central, this trip to Detroit is becoming all too familiar.
This was the first trip in Division 5, but the result remained the same.
The Cougars (11-0) dominated from start to finish over Frankenmuth (11-1), winning 48-21 for their fourth state championship in the past five years.
In a season full of pauses and some cancellations due to COVID-19, this one meant even more to Head Coach Todd Kolster and company.
“This one is definitely extra special that’s for sure,” Kolster said. “These guys earned some days off. They are great character young men with great families and a community. To be able to do this is unbelievable.”
Joey Silveri was the best player on the field Saturday afternoon without question. He had six total touchdowns, three through the air and three on the ground. He totaled 287 yards (172 passing, 115 rushing).
“A lot of times, they were bringing pressure, which opened up a lot of seams and gaps that we took advantage of,” Silveri said. “They were using a lot of one-on-one coverages, which is tough to do against us, and we made a lot of big plays.”
The Cougars wasted no time to start pushing the ball down the field. Following a 34-yard rush from Nick Hollern to set up a first and goal, Silveri took a sack and forced a third and goal. He made up for it by finding Nolan Zeigler for an 11-yard crossing pattern touchdown.
After another stop, the Cougars stormed down the field once again, this time led by Silveri’s arm. He capped off the six-play, 46-yard drive with another passing score. This one was to his favorite target this season Jace Williams from 13 yards out, making it 14-0.
A Silveri fumble led to seven points for the Eagles, shifting momentum briefly. The junior made up for it by throwing another touchdown pass to Ziegler on the next drive and then had a QB sneak for a score the following Cougar offensive possession. It was 28-7 GRCC at halftime and they didn’t have to look back.
Silveri threw for 123 yards on 7-of-10 passing in the first half with three scores, while adding 64 yards on the ground with a touchdown. He alone outgained Frankenmuth 187-80 in total yards in the first half.
The Cougar signal-caller just kept coming at the Eagles. He added two more scores to open the second half, both rushing, and the second one made the score 42-14 nearing the end of the third quarter.
However, the Eagles did put up offensive numbers in the third quarter. Frankenmuth found back-to-back scores on 154 yards of total offense, leading to a 42-21 Cougar advantage.
The Cougar defense would slam the door from there, not allowing a score in the fourth quarter. GRCC had 468 yards to just 297 yards of offense for the Eagles.
Williams, a senior playing in his final game for GRCC, added one more score to total 49 receiving touchdowns in his four-year career. That mark is a state record for the most in MHSAA football history in a four-year career.
“It feels great to have another accomplishment like this, but I tried to not focus on it too much this year,” Williams said. “Now that I did break the record, I’m happy I did it and happy my team put me in the position to do it.”
The GRCC program is operating at heights right now that are better than most schools in the state. For Kolster, every one of his teams has a goal of being the best it can be.
“We have set a standard here that we try to tackle on a daily basis,” Kolster said. “This group was another special one that continued to set the standard high.”