The Unity Christian Crusaders faced a tall task in Saturday’s regional finals. Kalamazoo United was one of the best offenses in the state, averaging over 53 points per contest in their 11-0 start to the season. In a role reversal, it was the Unity offense that went off in this one, scoring 39 points, but more surprisingly the defense held United to just 14 in a comfortable win. This puts Unity just one win away from their first trip to Ford Field.
In the first quarter, there was only one touchdown. Unity’s Hayden Large got a 19 yard touchdown run to give them an early 6-0 lead. The defenses on both sides held the remainder of the frame.
The second quarter was when Unity really took advantage on offense and began to separate themselves from Kalamazoo United. Isaac TeSlaa started the scoring with an eleven yard touchdown run, extending the Unity lead to twelve. With just under three minutes in the half, he went to the air and connected with Caleb Heyboer for a 49 yard touchdown pass, making it 20-0 Unity. TeSlaa’s third touchdown of the quarter, a two-yard run gave Untiy a 26-0 lead. A late touchdown by Kalamazoo United’s Eric Wenzel brought them within 26-7 at the half.
There was one touchdown by each team in the third quarter. Unity started the scoring when Jackson Bush pushed his way through the defense for a one-yard score. Wenzel would toss a 36 yard touchdown for Kalamazoo United to make it 32-14 after the third quarter of play.
In the fourth quarter, the only score was a 14 yard run by Max Buikema. This led to Unity winning the contest 39-14. This is the second regional title in Unity’s history, the other coming back in 2016. With the win, they advance to next Saturday’s Division 5 State Semifinals. Their opponent is undefeated Saginaw Swan Valley. The Vikings have dominated everyone all season, but they needed every last touchdown in their 36-28 win over Reed City in the regional finals. Followers of our site know that Swan Valley had little trouble defeating Cedar Springs, Freeland and Tri-County throughout the season in games covered on our site. These two teams will play Saturday at 1:00 at Greenville High School with a trip to Ford Field on the line.