Two of the OK Green’s best teams were squaring off on Friday night. Both teams were a game behind Byron Center in the loss column in the OK Green standings, so this game had large implications in the league standings. It went down to the wire, but eventually the Dux defense held tough and gave them the 20-14 victory.
Things got started in the first quarter with Unity Christian scoring first. Quarterback Isaac TeSlaa used his legs for a three yard score to give the Crusaders a 7-0 lead. Zeeland West was able to even the score on the ensuing drive, that took just fifty-two seconds. Evan Eding broke off a 55 yard run to the end zone, though the unsuccessful two-point conversion left Unity in the lead at 7-6 after the first quarter of play.
The second and the third quarters saw some stellar defense. Both teams stifled the offensive attacks of one another, with the exception of one drive. Zeeland West took the lead in the second quarter when Carson Gulker used his legs to score from a yard out. Wyatt Geurink converted on a two-point try, and this put Zeeland West in front 14-7.
In the fourth quarter, Unity Christian tied the game with just under ten minutes to play. Paul VanderPloeg ran five yards to the end zone to even the score at 14. Five minutes later, the Dux took the lead back when Gulker threw a seven yard touchdown to tight end Austin Brower. The two point conversion was unsuccessful, leaving the door open at 20-14.
Unity Christian made a strong push to score at the end of this game. They marched down the field and found themeselves with a 1st and goal from the 4 yard line. The Zeeland West defensive unit stepped up to the challenge, holding them out of the end zone to win it. On the final play of this game, TeSlaa’s pass to end zone was incomplete.
The two quarterbacks in this game has great statistical nights. Isaac TeSlaa had a strong rushing night when he took 20 carries to cover 154 yards. On the other side, Carson Gulker combined passing and rushing to rack up 141 yards and two scores.
With the victory, Zeeland West moves to 5-1 and 2-1 in league play. Next week, they will take on Holland Christian. Unity Christian slides to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the OK Green. Next week, they will square off against Hamilton.