ALLENDALE, Mich. -- Allendale and Unity Christian high schools have faced off in week one of the high school football season for 13 years, and Unity Christian has won the last four straight.
"They're an awfully good football team over there, " Crusaders head coach Craig Tibbe said. "They do a nice job: two communities close together, and they get the home game every year, and they kind of like that, too. And it's a good environment to play a football game."
Allendale head coach Ben Burke echoed that as he recalled coaching with Tibbe at the all-star game last season. "They are fun to coach against. They are fun to coach with, even in the all star game a year ago. They're well coached. Theyir kids play hard, and I think it's just a good high school football game."
With Allendale's running back Owen Burk transitioning to quarterback this season, Unity Christian knows it will be a close one again.
"He ran all over us last year," Unity Christian senior TJ Vankoevering said, smiling. "So we're hoping we can stop him this year, and we know they got some good D-lineman and linebackers, so hopefully we can put something together against them."
Coach Tibbe commended him as well saying, "You give him an inch, and he's gonna make you pay."
And although Unity Christian is always a tough team, Allendale said a non-conference win could be exactly what they need to gain some momentum for the tough OK Blue Conference.
"The OK Blue conference is an unbelievable football conference in Michigan," Coach Burke admitted.