Grand Rapids Catholic Central was forced to play the final two and a half quarters Friday night without star senior quarterback Joey Silveri, but the Cougars found a way to beat South Christian 28-6.
Silveri, left the game with 6:30 to play in the second quarter after running left and being tackled low, he did not return.
The Cougars led the game 7-0 at the point of the injury and would lead by the same score at the half.
Senior Ronin Russell-Dixon scored from 12 yards out to extend Catholic Central's lead to 14-0 early in the third quarter.
Senior wide receiver and safety John Passinault came on at quarterback when Silveri left, the senior ran in a four yard score and found Devin Fridley-Bell on a 16-yard scoring pass to give CC a 28-0 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Cougars defense held the Sailors to just 195 yards of total offense including 59 rushing yards.
Catholic Central senior linebacker Jack Cook led the defense with 13 tackles.
Overcoming Silveri's injury was a tough task, but CC found a way.
"It is a huge loss, that is our starting quarterback but John stepped in, that is what we do in practice everyday," senior wide receiver and safety Nolan Ziegler said. "He was ready and prepared and we finished the game so it was great."
"It is kind of surreal," Passinault said. "I have been preparing but I have the best quarterback in the state in front of me but I have to be ready to go in, but having the best quarterback in the state it is going to be tough to get some reps. It sucks that he went down, I feel so sorry for Joey I hope he comes back soon but I had to step up and I was ready."
Another unit that stepped up for Grand Rapids Catholic Central was the offensive line that paved the way for 165 rushing yards as a team with three sophomores in the starting group.
"Those guys are getting better and better everyday and they even get better within the game and they got better within the game," Catholic Central head coach Todd Kolster said. "Will Smith coming back, a senior coming back off an injury. This was his first work all year he really helped us, made a difference he brings a physical mindset and that helps because and he brings communication up front . Jack Krajewski another senior in there so it was great to see the young guys and the old guys bring them along."
The Cougars (2-0, 4-0) head to Houseman Field to play Ottawa Hills next Friday.
South Christian (1-1, 2-2) will travel to play Wayland.