The Stevensville Lakeshore Lancers and St Joseph Bears squared off in their annual “War by the Shore” on Friday night, one of the fiercest rivalries in the area. In a thrilling contest, twenty-one fourth quarter points propelled Stevensville Lakeshore to a 35-28 victory.
Preston Nichols got St Joseph out to a lead midway through the first quarter. He rushed for a 1-yard touchdown. With seconds remaining in the opening frame, Ryan Korfmacher kept the football, and Lakeshore’s signal-caller reeled off a 28-yard run. A successful extra point by Tyler Gates evened the count at 7.
Offense was limited in the second quarter, with just one scoring drive. It came at the onset of the frame, as St Joseph went on a five-play scoring march. Trey McGinnis, a shifty ball carrier, weaved his way through the oncoming Lancers, standing in the end zone after a 52-yard jaunt. This St Joseph touchdown put the Bears ahead at the break, 14-7.
St. Joseph started with the football after halftime, and they capitalized on their opportunity to extend the lead. Joron Brown‘s 7-yard touchdown run capped off a nine-play, 67-yard march for the Bears. On their final drive of the third quarter, Lakeshore responded. The Lancers ripped off a 79-yard touchdown drive to pull within a touchdown. Andrew Lies finished the scoring journey with a 16-yard run.
With eight minutes to play, Lakeshore got the football down by seven. A methodical march ensued, with the Lancers taking twelve plays to cover eighty-eight yards. On the final play of the drive, Ryan Korfmacher found an open Trevor Griffith for a 9-yard touchdown. A successful kick by Gates evened the count at 21 with 3:05 to play.
St. Joseph wasted no time to retake the lead, needing zero offensive snaps. On the ensuing kickoff, Hudson Lange fielded the kick and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Not to be outdone, Stevensville Lakeshore’s Cage Davidson returned their kickoff 93 yards to the end zone. This kept the game all-square at 28 with 2:35 to play.
The Bears got the football back, and they took 1:45 off the clock. They reached the Lakeshore 42 yard line, but they were unable to convert a fourth down play. This left the Lancers with 0:50 seconds and 58 yards to reach the end zone.
After a couple of short gains, Lakeshore had the football 1st and 10 on the St Joseph 30 yard line, with just over thirty seconds to play. Ryan Korfmacher stepped back, connecting with Trevor Griffith, who made his way into the end zone, a 30-yard toss that put the Lancers ahead by seven. The Bears would get to their own 42-yard line, but they could not advance further.
Ryan Korfmacher finished 10/21 for Lakeshore, passing for 97 yards. Trevor Griffith hauled in four of those completions, racking up 75 yards. Andrew Lies was the Lancers’ leading rusher with 102 yards on 16 carries. Zach Warren led Lakeshore with 11 tackles.
The St Joseph passing attack was 8/18 for 62 yards, but the Bears covered 272 yards on the ground. Joron Brown led the way with 171, while Trey McGinnis added 77. Elijah Turner paced the defense with 9 tackles.
With this victory, Lakeshore (6-1) is now tied with Portage Central for the SMAC lead. They can secure at least a share of the title next week, with a win over Battle Creek Lakeview. St Joseph (5-2) will step out of SMAC play, as they will face Chelsea.