KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Kalamazoo United trailed previously unbeaten Schoolcraft 27-7 midway through the third quarter on Friday evening.
"I thought it was over," senior quarterback and safety Christian Bartholomew said, "I told myself at halftime, 'All right, you have 24 minutes left."
That was until the Titans came back to win the game 35-27 to finish the season at 5-4 overall and qualify for the state playoffs.
"I was super high on life at that point," laughed head coach David Arrasmith. "I was excited for the team and program to get a share of the division title and also make the playoffs."
United will get a rematch with undefeated Berrien Springs in the district semifinals. the Titans lost against the same team 23-12 back in Week 3.
"Like any 5-4 team, you're an underdog," Arrasmith added, "but we're a different team than when we played them in Week 3. Our offense is honed in a little bit. They're going to see a different team than they did. We're sharper now, and, hopefully, we come out and compete and do the best we can."
Arrasmith admits it has taken time to get the offense going, but the team feels they are hitting their stride at the perfect time.
"Our offense is really starting to peak," senior running back Garrett Warner said. "We're putting up those points, and our defense is playing well at the same time. It's happening at the right time."
Quarterback Christian Bartholomew has been dynamic all season long and is now feeling confident about the team's togetherness going into this weekend.
"Our defense is excelling phenomenally right now," Bortholomew said. "Our offense, at least last week, showed we can score. We're putting up the numbers and figuring it out."
There's a lot on the line on Friday night, including a chance for United to advance to another district final against the winner of the Dowagiac and Hopkins game.
"I'm just thinking that it could be my last high school football game, so why not leave it all the line," Warner added.