The crowd was at capacity for the decades old rivalry of the Sparta Spartans and the Cedar Springs Red Hawks this past Friday, September 11, 2009 at Red Hawk Stadium.
Area police and fire departments provided a stirring flag ceremony to remind us of the anniversary of 9-11. The stands were full and the crowd respectful as the flag was brought to half mast and we, as a community remembered those that were lost 8 years ago.
As one would expect from a rivalry game, the action was intense and hitting just as fierce. But It became evident early on that the Red Hawks did not have an answer for the swift and elusive running of Sparta quarterback Cam Cooper, who ran for a game high 217 yards on 30 carries.
Poor execution, missed tackles and injuries plagued the Red Hawks. Sparta took advantage of an early turnover as Cooper ran in for the first score of the game at the beginning of the first quarter. The Red Hawks fought back and trailed by only one after a 75-yard touchdown run by James Putnam, who finished with 97 rushing yards in 10 attempts. But that run would be the sole highlight for the Red Hawks for the rest of the game, as Cooper and his Spartan teammates continued to pound the running game.
The defenses took over in the second half with both teams being very aggressive in attacking the line of scrimmage. Tyler Baker had a game high 12 tackles for Cedar, but it was not to be enough as Sparta downed Cedar 25-6. Cedar will regroup this week and prepare to host Grand Rapids Central (0-3) this coming Friday at Red Hawk stadium at 7 p.m.