ST. JOSEPH — Big scoring plays proved to be the difference for Berrien Springs football team Friday night at Dickinson Stadium.
Coach Bill Bergan’s Shamrocks remained undefeated at 3-0 by defeating Kalamazoo United 23-12 in a competitive non-league game.
Berrien Springs scored on a blocked punt, a 68-yard pass, and a 70-yard kickoff return. Female placekicker Faith Kittleson also booted a 30-yard field goal and made 2-of-3 PATs.
“We did not play very well offensively,” stated Bergan. “They put nine guys in the box to stop Danny (Vinson) and it worked. We’ve got a lot of work to do on offense. Our defense hung in there and played great when they had to.’”
Vinson, the Shamrocks’ leading rusher, was held to just seven yards on 10 carries, but ripped off a 70-yard kickoff return for a TD, immediately following United’s 7-yard TD run by quarterback Chris Bartholomew had cut the lead to 16-6 just before halftime. Vinson’s electrifying scamper with seven seconds left in the half put Berrien back up 23-6.
Vinson had to be carried off the field late in the game with an apparent knee injury.
Following Kittleson’s 30-yard, first-quarter field goal that hit the cross bar and went over, The Shamrocks scored when Anthony Latin blocked a punte deep in the Titans territory and Chris Pitone picked it up a rumbled in for a 10-0 lead. On its next possession, Latin made a spectacular grab of a Nick Nelson pass and scooted 68 yards to pay dirt to put Berrien up 16-0.
“He’s been incredible for us,” praised Bergan of Latin’s overall play. He also had an interception. “He’s just a warrior. But we’ve only got 23 guys and nine of them aren’t coming off the field.”
The Titans scored late when Bartholomew scampered 88 yards for a score.
Kittleson said she saw her first-ever field goal hit the crossbar.
“That was crazy,” she said. “I was real nervous.”
How does she like playing varsity football?
“I love it,” she added. “It’s a really different atmosphere, but in a good way.”
Berrien Springs 23, Kal. United 12
Kal United 0 6 0 6 - 12
Berrien Springs 3 20 0 0 - 23
BSp - Faith Kittleson 30 field goal
BSp - Chris Pitone recovered blocked punt for TD (Kittleson kick)
BSp - Anthony Latin 68 pass from Nick Nelson (kick failed)
KU - Chris Bartholomew 7 run (run failed)
BSp - Danny Vinson 70 kickoff return (Kittleson lick)
Bartholomew 88 run (pass failed)
First downs 13 7
Total net yards 245 150
Rushes-yards 186 42
Passing yards 57 108
Comp-att-int 9-27-2 5-13-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 60 65
Punts-avg. 2-43 6-34.5
TOP INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING - KU: Bartholomew 26-128. BSp: Nelson 7-21.
PASSING - KU: Bartholomew 9-27-2-66. BSp: Nelson 5-13-0-108.
RECEIVING - KU: Warner 2-23. BSp: Latin 1-68.
RECORDS - Kalamazoo United 0-3, Berrien Springs 3-0.