Friday, October 21, was a night filled with hopes of making it to the playoffs again for the Cedar Springs Red Hawks, but their rival, the Sparta Spartans, fought hard to ensure that it would not happen and outscored the Red Hawks 17-7.
The first quarter was truly a battle with both teams not allowing the other to score. As the 2nd quarter went on, the ball moving again back and forth, it was Sparta that was able to score the first points of the game. With 1:20 left in the second quarter, Cedar Springs was given the chance to tie the game when Brandon Slater picked off a pass from the Spartans quarterback, but they turned the ball back over to Sparta on downs.
The 3rd quarter looked promising for the Red Hawks when Jason Vietti recovered a Spartan fumble, but the Red Hawks then fumbled the ball and Sparta recovered it and took it in for another touchdown, bringing the score to 14-0 Sparta. The Red Hawks weren’t stopping though and answered Sparta’s touchdown with one of their own when Connor Burrows barreled through the D-line of Sparta, ending the 3rd quarter 14-7 Spartans.
The 4th quarter was a tense one as the Red Hawks fought to keep their hopes of a playoff game alive, and Sparta fought to keep the Red Hawks out. The Spartans kept the lead by intercepting a pass and taking the Red Hawks out of scoring position. The Spartans then kicked a field goal to extend the lead to 17-7. The Red Hawks did what they could but fell short.
“I feel bad for this senior class,” said head coach Brian Busen. “These seniors are a great group and deserved a trip to the playoffs. I had a great time coaching this team and will really miss not being around them everyday. I am very proud of each of these guys and look forward to seeing where life will bring them in the future. This year’s group represented Cedar with class and the whole community should be proud of these young men.”
Jason Vietti led the defense with 8 tackles and 3 assists; Cory Wozniak had 5 tackles and 2 assists; and Brandon Slater and Allen Slagter both had 5 tackles and 1 assists. Connor Burrows led the offense with a total of 89 yards and Austin Wamser with 71 yards.