ST. JOSEPH – The St. Joseph football team would have liked to play under Friday night lights against Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, but mother nature had other plans.

Lightning delays forced the teams to reschedule the game for a 1 p.m. Saturday start. The Bears made the most of it, scoring 34 first-half points on their way to a 44-18 win over Kalamazoo Loy Norrix (0-5) at Dickinson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“We’re proud of our kids for getting another win,” St. Joseph coach Andrew Pratley said. “We executed some things early, got a few turnovers, and were able to seal the deal at halftime. We were able to play some kids in the second half.”

Four different Bears tallied rushing touchdowns as St. Joseph (5-0) outgained Loy Norrix 303-97 on the ground. Jeremiah Sterling led the charge with 122 yards and two first half touchdowns on 15 carries.

Andy Blomgren earned his first start of the season in place of the injured Troy Pratley (shoulder). Blomgren completed 9 of 14 passes, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Luke Hedstrom in the first quarter.

St. Joseph’s defense did not make it easy for Loy Norrix, forcing three interceptions and several tackles for loss. But the Knights’ big play ability allowed them to amass 403 yards of offense. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Roberts tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another.

A would-be third touchdown pass was called back due to penalties.

“They have some great players,” Pratley said. “They had a great effort today and they should be proud of what they did.”

St. Joseph moves to 5-0 for the first time since 2013. The Bears will try to punch their ticket to the postseason next week when they face Portage Central on the road.

“We’re right where we want to be but next week is kind of a big one,” Pratley said. “This game gives us an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs. We’ll have a great week of practice and preparation for them and hopefully we can give a good effort over there.”

St. Joseph 44, Kal. Loy Norrix 18

SJ 13 21 10 0 – 44

LN 0 6 0 12 – 18

First quarter

SJ – Griffin Shinrock 52 run (Huff kick), 6:03

SJ – Luke Hedstrom 40 pass from Andy Blomgren (kick failed), 3:10.

Second quarter

SJ – Drake Collins 1 run (kick good), 8:46.

SJ – Jeremiah Sterling 11 run (kick good), 7:56.

LN – Derrell Mabon 68 pass from Tyler Roberts (run failed), 6:36.

SJ – Sterling 2 run (kick good), 3:00.

Third quarter

SJ – Christian Myers 5 run (kick good), 10:25.

SJ – Huff 42 field goal, 0:15.

Fourth quarter

LN – Mabon 25 pass from Roberts (pass failed), 4:19.

LN – Roberts 5 run, 0:00.

SJ LN

First downs 20 19

Total yards 462 403

Rushes-yards 40-303 32-97

Passing yards 159 306

Comp-att-int 9-14-1 16-36-3

Penalties-yards 9-84 9-105

Individual statistics

Rushing – SJ: Jeremiah Sterling 15-122-2, Drake Collins 8-70-1, Griffin Shinrock 3-58-1, Christian Myers 2-22-1. LN: Tyler Roberts 18-49-1, Derrell Mabon 10-28.

Passing – SJ: Blomgren 9-14-159-1. LN: Roberts 14-32-232-3, Mabon 2-3-74-0.

Receiving – SJ: Christian Myers 3-48, Nicholas Borre 3-42, Luke Hedstrom 2-60. LN: Derrell Mabon 6-121, Treyton Allen 4-24, Romario Williams 2-116.

Tackles – SJ: Brent Huff 6, Konnor LaVanway 6, Corbin Kalin 5. LN: Quincy Ellis 4, David Wilson 4, Anthony Kimbrough 4.

Contact: mharden@thehp.com, 932-0371, @HPMaxwellHarden