St. Joe claims Anchor Trophy with 22-14 win over Lakeshore

ST. JOSEPH – A quick start, big plays, and the Bears defense all added up to a St. Joe victory in the 2019 edition of the War by the Shore, as the Bears beat the Lancers 22-14 to improve to 4-0 on the season.

The Bears held Lakeshore to a three and out on their first drive and on the Bears second play from scrimmage, quarterback Troy Pratley got through the Lakeshore defense and ran for a 76 yard touchdown to put the Bears up 7-0.

However the next Bear drive would end with a fumble as Pratley was tackled from behind and fumbled on the play. Pratley would injure himself. He’s play the next drive, which ended on a 34 yard field goal from Brent Huff, but the night would end for Pratley.

Lakeshore would get on the board early in the 2nd quarter when Logan Miller caught a 23 yard touchdown pass from Lakeshore quarterback Jimmy Gillette to cut the lead to 10-7.

Lakeshore nearly took the lead on their next drive, but Brennan Kerns intercepted Gillette in the endzone, the half would end and the Bears took a 10-7 lead into the half.

St. Joe’s special teams started the 2nd half with a bang as Griffin Shinrock returned the kickoff 90 yards to the endzone without being touched. The point after was no good, but the St. Joe lead was 16-7.

Konner Lavanway got the Bears defense in on the scoring as he intercepted Gillette early in the 4th quarter and returned the picked off pass 55 yards for a touchdown. A penalty after the play pushed the point after back 15 yards an was again no good.

With the Bears offense struggling without Pratley, backup QB Andy Blomgren led the offense, but a turnover deep inside St. Joe territory gave Lakeshore new life as the Lancers went 19 yards on 2 plays to cut the lead to 22-14.

St. Joe would again drive the ball to try to kill the clock, and on a 4th and 5, St. Joe would attempt a 49 yard field goal. The kick was short, but it did make it to the end zone would results in a touchback, forcing Lakeshore to drive 80 yards in 71 second to try to have a chance to tie the game. But with 40 seconds left Shinrock ended the last Lakeshore hope as he intercepted Gillette and the Bears would kill the last 40 seconds.

The Bears defense came up with 4 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery as St. Joe held Lakeshore to just 245 yards of total offense.

With the win St. Joe improves to 4-0 and 3-0 in the SMAC West, while Lakeshore falls to 2-2 and 1-2 in the SMAC West. St. Joe will be home again next week to celebrate Homecoming against Kalamazoo Loy Norrix.

St. Joe was dressed in pink jersey’s in honor of the Team up against Cancer night. The jersey’s were each sponsored and carried the name of a person who either lost their battle or survived cancer.

SMAC Scores
St. Joseph 22, Lakeshore 14
Niles 28, Mattawan 7
Portage Central 21, Battle Creek Central 19
Kalamazoo Central 55, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 14
Battle Creek Lakeview 55, Gull Lake 34
East Lansing 35, Portage Northern 28 - OT