Bears drop opener

(St. Joseph) – Fifteen years after Dickinson Stadium opened.  The biggest physical change to stadium made it’s debut, when the Bears played host to Battle Creek Central on the brand new artificial playing surface.  A donation from Steve and Elizabeth Upton made Steve Upton Field at Dickinson Stadium possible. 

St. Joe opened the Dickinson Stadium with a win 15 years ago, but the first game on the turf didn’t go the same way as Battle Creek Central came away with a 32-27 win over the Bears.

The Bears defense couldn’t do much to stop the attack of the Bearcats as BCC outgained St. Joe by a margin of 389-196. 

St. Joe grabbed the early lead on a 28 yard field goal with 5:05 left in the first quarter from Antonio Buhrfiend. 

The visitors grabbed a 7-3 lead with :23 seconds left in the first quarter on a 24 yard run from Joshua Mann. 

St. Joe would cut into the lead with 7:34 left in the 2nd quarter on a 26 yard field goal from Buhrfiend. 

But the Bears first touchdown on Steve Upton Field turned out to be one of the wildest plays ever at Dickinson Stadium.   After a St. Joe punt down to the 1 yard line.  A quick three and out from the Bears defense forced Central to try to punt from deep In their own endzone.     A low snap forced Bearcat punter John Love to drop to pick up the ball gave St. Joe defender Brent Huff the opportunity to get through the protection and blocked the late punt.   The ball popped straight into the air and it dropped into the arms of Connor Robinson for the touchdown and a 13-7 lead with 2:52 left.

The lead only lasted until :27 seconds left in the half as Keondre Glass caught a 31 yard touchdown pass from Keondre Glass to tie the game at 13-13 heading to halftime.

The same pairing would connect again midway through the 3rd quarter to put BCC up 20-13.  

The Bearcats would add another touchdown on an 8 yard run from Tyshaan Williams midway through the fourth quarter for a 27-13 lead. 

St. Joe would take only 10 seconds to get back in the game when Sophomore Griffin Shinrock returned the following kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 27-20.

The Bearcats restored a 14 point lead on a 3 yard run from Williams with 2:51 left.

Another long return on the kickoff gave St. Joe a chance to get back in the game.  Derek Holowasko’s long return for 60 yards set up the offense at the Bearcat 13 yard line.  Jeremiah Sterling ran the next play for the touchdown and cut the lead to 34-27.   

St. Joe would have one more chance on offense, but had to go 99 yards as the Bearcats punter was downed at the 1.  Four incomplete passes and the Bearcats kneeled out the final seconds for their second straight win at Dickinson Stadium.  St. Joe travels to Niles on Thursday.