The Cedar Springs Varsity Red Hawk football team took on long time rivals the Sparta Spartans, in a non-conference game, at Spartan Stadium last Thursday, August 30. The Spartans took charge of the field less than two minutes into the game, when Evan Stubbs intercepted a Red Hawk pass on the Cedar Springs 40-yard line. The Spartans then drove down the field, and Spartan quarterback Christian Pangborn ran the ball in for the first touchdown of the game. They held off Cedar throughout the first quarter and ended the quarter 6-0 Sparta.
The Red Hawks scored their first touchdown of the game early in the second quarter on a 5-yard carry by Jeff Newland, but the 2-point conversion attempt by quarterback Cameron Cooper was no good. The Spartans then answered with a touchdown of their own, on a five-yard run by Evan Stubbs. The extra point by Tyler Hull was good.
The Red Hawks then caught a break with less than three minutes left in the second quarter. Quarterback Cam Cooper was sacked by Sparta’s Reece Hall, to make it 4th and 8, but the referee called a personal foul on Sparta, making it an automatic first down on the Sparta 27-yard line.
The Red Hawks took advantage of the call and three plays later, with less than 30 seconds left in the quarter, quarterback Austin Hilyer completed a 27-yard shot to Jared Vodry for another touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good, ending the quarter 13-12 Sparta.
After the half, the Red Hawks controlled the game. The Red Hawk defense shut down the Spartans, and the Red Hawk offense moved down the field. The Red Hawks scored with 5:38 left in the quarter, when Cam Cooper passed 12 yards to Nick Krajewski for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt by Jeff Newland was no good, and the quarter ended 18-12 Cedar Springs.
The Red Hawks continued to dominate in the fourth quarter, scoring two more touchdowns. The first one came when quarterback Cameron Cooper ran the ball in 9 yards for the touchdown with 9:06 remaining on the clock. The second touchdown came with six minutes to go, when Cooper again kept the ball and ran up the middle for a 14-yard touchdown. Two-point conversion attempts failed on both plays, and the game ended with a score of 30-13 Cedar Springs.
The Red Hawks racked up 303 yards on the ground. Leading the Red Hawks in rushing yards this week was Jeff Newland with a total of 133 yards on 18 carries, and Cameron Cooper with a total of 105 yards on 17 attempts. Dylan Block grabbed 56 yards on 10 carries. Cameron Link had an interception in the game.
Leading the defense was Jared Vodry with 9 tackles and 4 assists, followed by Allen Slagter with 6 tackles and 2 assists, and Cody Anes, with 6 tackles and 1 assist. Baylee Sterling and Cameron Link were also contributors with multiple tackles.
The Spartan offense garnered 147 yards on the ground. Leading the Spartans in rushing was Evan Stubbs, with 123 yards on 17 carries, Christian Pangborn with 22 yards on 11 attempts, and Josh Westers with a 14-yard run.
Zach Brown led the Spartan defense with 12 tackles, Thomas Cheslek had 7, and Jeremy Lecuru and Gage Bracewell both had 6.
Red Hawk coach Brian Busen was happy with the victory. “Austin Hilyer came in and made a huge play and Jared Vodry had a great catch, which gave us momentum going into the half,” explained Busen. “At half time we made some minor adjustments offensively, and defensively, in the first half, we just played too slow. The second half we played great football on both sides of the ball.
“Any time you can sweep your biggest rival at all three levels, it feels good,” added Coach Busen.
The Cedar Springs Red Hawks will take on Wayland this Friday night at Red Hawk Stadium at 7pm.