Bears rally to defeat Unity Chiristian 41-28

ST. JOSEPH –  Before Thursday, to find the last time St. Joe came back from down by three touchdowns, you would have to go digging in the record books.

St. Joe trailed 22-0 after the first quarter but rallied for a 41-28 win over Hudsonville Unity Christian at Steve Upton Field at Dickinson Stadium.

Unity Christian, who was the runner up in Division 4 last year is the 2nd state runner up the Bears have played this season, after the week 1 game against Traverse City Central.

It looked as if the Bears fate would be the same as their week 1 loss after the first quarter.  Unity Christian scored thee touchdowns on a 67 yard run by quarterback Mitchell Tibbe, a 16 yard pass from Tibbe to Carterell Bylsma and a 7 yard TD run from Dylanell DeHoop for a 22-0 lead.

The Bears would get on the board just 6 seconds into the 2nd quarter, when Matt Lanier threw a 26 yard touchdown pass to Bobby Nate to cut the lead to 22-7. 

Unity Christian would score again on their next drive on another Tibbe touchdown pass to Isaacell Stienstra from 6 yards to go up 28-7.   But that was the final time Unity Christian would find the scoreboard for the rest of the game.

The Bears battle back would then start just 2:07 later, when Thomas Moore ran for a 12 yard touchdown run, capping an 8 -play, 80-yard drive.  Hudson Lange made it 28-21 with 1:28 left in the first half when he scored on a 6 yard touchdown run.

The Bears, who deferred to start the game, got the ball to start the second half, and scored on the opening possession of the 2nd half on a 2 yard touchdown run from Trey McGinnis to tie the game at 28-28, still with 8:14 left in the third quarter.

After stopping the Crusaders on downs, St. Joe got great field position after the Unity Christian punt, when Hunter Lange returned the punt 60 yards down to the 25 yard line.   Just three plays later.   Joron Brown scored on a 2 yard run, after running for 22 yards the previous play.  And St. Joe grabbed the lead for the first time at 35-28.
As the fourth quarter played out, St. Joe would be stopped on downs and then later on would turn it over at the Unity Christian 10 yard line.
Unity Christian would be 3 and out with just over 4 minutes to go.  St. Joe then would drain the last 4 minutes, and score on a 6 yard touchdown run as time expired to provide the final score of 41-26. 

McGinnis would lead the Bears on offense with 137 yards rushing on 17 carries and a touchdown.  Joron Brown had 16 carries and scored his second touchdown of the game and broke the 100 yard rushing mark on the final play, finishing with 104 yards.
Max Taylor was 5 for 5 on extra points, he would not get to attempt the final kick as officials ruled the game over. 

Dylan Stevens had 13 tackles to lead the Bears defense, he added a pass breakup and a QB hurry.  Joron Brown had 8 tackles, including 1 tackle for loss, and 2 pass breakups.  Elijah Turner also had 8 tackles.

The 22 point rally is the largest rally for a win since St. Joe came back from a 21-0 deficit and beat Lansing Sexton in the 2007 regional championship 42-27. 

The Bears are back on the road next Friday to open SMAC Conference play at Kalamazoo Central, the Maroon Giants are 0-2 so far this season after falling to rival Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 8-7 last Thursday.