GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Catholic Central continued a tough non-conference schedule on Saturday, hosting Andrean High School out of Merrillville, Indiana, a team that lost in the Indiana state semifinals in 2020.
The Cougars would come out firing as Joey Silveri found Notre Dame commit Nolan Ziegler for an 84 yard touchdown pass to put Catholic in front, 6-0 after a missed extra point.
Minutes later, Silveri would hit Nate VanTimmeren in the back of the endzone from four yards out to extend the lead to 14-0 after a two-point conversion.
Two plays into the ensuing Andrean drive, Nolan Ziegler would jump a route and go 30 yards for an interception return for a touchdown to put Todd Kolster's group in front, 21-0 after one quarter of play.
The second quarter would be owned by the 59ers as Andrean cut the deficit to 21-14 going into the locker room.
In the third quarter, Silveri would get back to work, firing away from his body on the run and delivering a strike to Ziegler who stood in the back of the endzone for a 38 yard score to extend the lead.
The Cougar defense would batten down the hatches in the second half as well, including great defensive performances from Ryan Eastland, Jack Cook, Jack Klafeta and John Passinault, just to name a few.
Devin Fridley-Bell would find the endzone in the fourth quarter on a pass from Silveri to put the capper on a 34-14 win as the Cougars improve to 2-0 on the season.
"We got them early because in the first quarter we were rolling," Silveri said after the win, "we let up on them a bit and let them come back but we refocused in halftime and said come back out aggressive and finish the game.”
Ziegler would catch two of Silveri's four touchdowns on the afternoon.
“It’s a great connection," said head coach, Todd Kolster, "those guys work really hard obviously and worked really hard together in the offseason and those types of things, all of those things help.”
It's a big win for the program to win the season opener against a really good out-of-state team.
“Playing a team from another state, they fight," Ziegler said, "they want to come up here and kick our butts and we can’t let that happen, to have a win in our home stadium and solidify that first home victory, it feels good for everybody.”
Catholic Central will play at Forest Hills Eastern to open up OK Gold play on Friday night.