The Unity Christian Crusaders and South Christian Sailors squared off this week in a battle of two of West Michigan’s top programs of the last decade. The reigning Division 5 State Champion Crusaders had a strong second half of play that would carry the team to victory on Saturday by a score of 32-19.
South Christian’s defense made key plays to set the tone at the beginning of this game. Early in the first quarter they forced a fumble to give the offense good field position. Chase Bradman would help the Sailors capitalize on this drive, as he started the scoring with a 9 yard pass to Hudson Oetman. The defense would force and recover another fumble in the second quarter to set up another South Christian scoring drive. Danny Possett punched it in from three yards out to give the Sailors a 13-0 lead. Before the half, Unity Christian was able to get on the board with a touchdown run and two-point conversion run by Isaac TeSlaa.
The TeSlaa score gave the Crusaders some momentum that they continued as the second half began. Malekhi Obande put Unity Christian on the board gave the Crusaders the lead for the first time when they ran 65 yards to the end zone. He would have another touchdown run in the third quarter when he went six yards to the end zone. This capped off an incredible 15 play, 99 yard drive to extend the lead to 22-13 Unity as the teams began the fourth quarter.
Unity Christian pushed the lead out to 12 points on a 44 yard field goal from Bulcer. They would extend the lead even more, continuing their run to 32 unanswered points. This happened when TeSlaa broke off a 75 yard run to the end zone after the defense forced an interception. South Christian responded with a touchdown by Chase Bradman to cut the lead to thirteen points. They were never able to draw closer.
With the victory, the Crusaders were able to improve to 4-1 on the season. Next week, they will return to conference play when they face Byron Center. South Christian now sits at 3-2 on the season, and they will face East Grand Rapids next week in OK Gold play.