FREMONT -- Central Catholic got a strong challenge from Tiffin Columbian for almost three full quarters today.
But the second-ranked Fighting Irish used some big plays to turn a tight battle into a 42-13 romp over final 13 minutes in a Division III regional football semifinal at Fremont’s Don Paul Stadium.
PHOTO GALLERY: Central Catholic vs. Tiffin Columbian
Junior receiver/defensive back Marcus Winters made two of the big plays for the Irish (12-0), and the other came in between from sophomore running back Tre’Von Wade.
With Columbian trailing just 21-13 late in the third quarter, Tornadoes quarterback Donovan Walker sent a pass toward the right sideline intended for Russ Yeast.
But Winters stepped in front for the interception, then raced 50 yards for a touchdown with 38 seconds left in the quarter.
Wade (26 carries, 187 yards) then broke a 75-yard TD run just two minutes later to put Central ahead 35-13.
Winters added a 15-yard TD catch, leaping high and keeping his feet just inside the back of the end zone with 3:36 remaining.
He capped his standout two-way performance with his second interception of the half with 2:19 to play.
Central quarterback DeShone Kizer was 10 of 17 passing for 191 yards and two TDs, plus ran eight times for 41 yards and a score. He was intercepted twice in the third quarter, deep in Columbian territory.
It was the 17th straight win overall for Central (12-0), which won the 2012 D-II state championship. The Tornadoes bow out at 10-2.