The Unity Christian Crusaders are the defending Division 5 State Champions. This year they are playing in Division 4, but they are now just one win away from a return trip to Ford Field. Last night, they went to Paw Paw and defeated the Redskins 38-17.

Just two minutes into the game, the Crusaders set the tone offensively. Sophomore Drew Chandler capped off the first drive with a sixteen yard touchdown run. On their ensuing drive, Unity Christian once again found the end zone. Malekhi Obande broke off a sixty yard touchdown run, and Grant Balcer’s second extra point made it 14-0. Before the first quarter ended, Paw Paw was able to get on the scoreboard. Kolby Hindenach‘s one yard run brought the score to 14-7 heading to the second quarter.

Scoring in the second started with a thirty yard field goal by Grant Balcer. The Crusaders then got a fifty four yard touchdown run by Drew Chandler for another score to make it 24-7 in favor of Unity as the teams headed to the locker room. In the third quarter, the only scoring play was a twenty five yard field goal by Paw Paw’s Claudia Muessig.

In the fourth quarter, Isaac TeSlaa took to the air and found Jackson Bush for a thirty six yard touchdown to get the ball rolling for Unity. On their next possession, Kobe Beute broke off a fifty yard run to put this game out of reach. With just four seconds to play, Paw Paw did score on an eleven yard run by Nate Harden, but it was too little too late.

With the victory, Unity Christian will be playing in the Division 4 Semifinals next Saturday afternoon against the winner of today’s game between Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Cadillac. The location of this game will be a neutral site, determined after the completion of the other regional finals.