Throughout the regular season, Zeeland West posted a 6-2 record, falling only to Mona Shores and Muskegon, two of the State’s best programs. Many expected that they would cruise to success in their district and regional, based upon their strengths and the teams in front of them. The playoff run of the Dux was halted after round one, with the St Joseph Bears knocking them off 29-26.
Offense was plentiful in the first quarter of this game. Just seventy-five seconds into the game, the Bears struck first. Matthew Lanier found Trey McGinnis on a 49-yard passing play, giving St Joe a 6-0 edge. Zeeland West responded on their first drive, with Skyler Geurink breaking off a 30-yard run on a 74-yard touchdown march.
Zeeland West took the lead four minutes later, as Trevor Wallar threw his fifth touchdown of the year, a 71-yard connection with Cade Overweg. St Joe would respond with a 1-yard touchdown run by Joron Brown that was set up by a 64-yard carry by Trey McGinnis. As a result of another failed conversion, it was 14-12 Dux.
In the second quarter, St Joe went on a run to take the lead. Trey McGinnis found the end zone in the middle of the frame on an 11-yard touchdown carry. With less than a minute to go before halftime, Max Taylor booted a 29-yard field goal to give the Bears a 21-14 lead heading into the locker room.
Zeeland West got the ball to start the second half, and they set the tone. They went on a 21-play, 8-yard touchdown drive that lasted the entirety of the third quarter. Four seconds into the fourth frame, Skyler Geurink rushed for a 4-yard touchdown. The Dux went for two, but the pass was intercepted, leaving them behind a point, 21-20.
After forcing a quick stop, Zeeland West got the football back with 10:39 to play. They took up eight minutes of game play, marching 65 yards in 13 plays. Again, it was Geurink who found the end zone, on an 11-yard carry. Once again, the Dux failed to covert, leaving them ahead 26-21.
The ensuing kickoff sailed out of bounds, leaving St Joe with great field position at their own 40 yard line and 2:34 to go. A huge pass play from Matt Lanier to Dylan Stevens went for 32 yards, setting up St Joe with a first down inside the red zone. Three straight runs by Joron Brown got the Bears down to the three with 54 seconds to play. Again, the Bears stayed on the ground, carrying the football three consecutive plays. On the third run, Trey McGinnis bowled into the end zone on a 1-yard plunge.
Zeeland West had one last chance, but Trevor Wallar’s pass was intercepted by Brystun Mayberry. The Bears went into victory formation and left Zeeland Stadium with a victory.
The Bears had a balanced attack with 146 passing yards and 155 yards on the ground. Matt Lanier completed 7/12 passes to propel the passing attack. Trey McGinnis paced the rushing attack with 123 yards, and he added 71 receiving yards. Dylan Stevens led the receivers with 78 yards. Hudson Lange, Joron Brown, and Malik Immoos all had 10 tackles.
Zeeland West rushed for 289 yards, led by Geurink’s 169. Trevor Wallar was 2/5 for 91 yards, with 71 of those going to Cade Overweg on the touchdown.
This victory allows the Bears to snap a four-game losing streak, all against playoff teams. Next week, St Joe will remain on the road. They will square off with Lakeshore, a team they suffered a 35-28 defeat against back on October 8. The Lancers defeated Zeeland East over the weekend.