Listen live online Saturday afternoon via JoeInsider.com as Kalamazoo United meets Hudsonville Unity Christian in a regional football final at 3 p.m. ET from Vicksburg High School.
Last Friday, the Titans topped Hopkins 46-35 for the first district title in the Hackett Catholic/Kalamazoo Christian co-op’s five year history. For the Crusaders, they climbed from a 35-8 deficit against Muskegon Oakridge for a 40-37 comeback victory. It was the third district title in the program’s 16-year history, with their deepest run coming in 2016’s state semifinalist campaign.
Kalamazoo United enters at 11-0, getting victories over playoff qualifiers in their last six games. They’ve scored 586 points in that stretch for the highest tally in the state, with quarterback Eric Wenzel’s state-record 54th touchdown pass coming last week. Three receivers; Andrew Widger, Heath Baldwin, and Christian Bartholomew; each have double-digit receiving touchdowns. Defensively, they’ve allowed only 170 points.
Unity Christian has scored 395 and allowed 287 against teams with a combined 65-47 record. At 9-2, the two Crusader losses came to Division 3 playoff qualifiers Zeeland West and Zeeland East. Unity knocked out five-time defending state champion Grand Rapids West Catholic 41-22 in their first playoff game. The Crusader run game has been tough with the combination of quarterback Isaac TeSlaa and running backs Malekhi Obade and Max Buikema.
Saturday’s winner advances to the state semifinal round next weekend against either 2017 runner-up Saginaw Swan Valley or Reed City, both of whom are unbeaten.
You can listen to Saturday’s regional final via the embedded player below. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET with pregame coverage starting around 2:50.
Photo by Chris Carpenter