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Categorized | Featured, Sports

Cedar Springs suffers loss to Swan Valley

Cedar Springs took a 21-12 loss at Saginaw Swan Valley in their non-conference opener last week. Photo by Kelly and Rob LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team went on the road last Thursday, August 23, for their first ever game against the Saginaw Swan Valley Vikings, the 2017 state runner-ups in Division 5. 

Cedar Springs kicked off to Swan Valley to start the game, but the Vikings fumbled the ball and the Red Hawks recovered. They didn’t score, however, and Swan Valley took over on their own 39-yard line. On their second play, Deon Danders ran up the middle for a 61-yard touchdown, and the extra point was good, making the score 7-0, Swan Valley, with 9:29 left in the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Red Hawks scored with 2:33 left when quarterbank Kolby Swank ran right for three yards into the end zone. His pass to Kaden Liggett for extra points was no good. The score was now Swan Valley 7, Cedar Springs 6.

Swan Valley scored again in the third quarter with 3:38 left, when Alex Fries ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown. Their extra kick was good, making the score 14-6.

The Red Hawks rallied and came back and scored again before the quarter was over. With :33 left on the clock, Swank ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown. Ryan Ringler attempted a run into the end zone for a two-point conversion but it was no good. The score was now Swan Valley 14, Cedar Springs 12.

The Red Hawks would not score again, but Swan Valley put one more into the end zone to seal the victory. With 4:46 left on the clock, Fries passed to Ethan Champney for a 10-yard touchdown. The after kick was good, and Swan Valley took a 21-12 victory over Cedar Springs.

Cedar Springs rushed for 179 yards, on 54 attempts. Leading rushers were Ryan Ringler with 65 yards on 19 attempts, and Ethan West with 49 yards on 15 attempts. Kolby Swank contributed 23 yards on six attempts, and Sage Serbenta had 21 on 6 attempts. Ben Shaw added 16 yards on three attempts, and Zack Schmid added 5 yards on 5 attempts.

Swan Valley rushed for 208 yards, with Deon Danders leading the way with 102 yards on 9 attempts, and quarterback Alex Fries coming in second with 43 yards on 12 attempts.

Ringler led the Red Hawks in tackles with 7, followed closely by Sage Serbenta with 6 and Zach Schmid with 5. 

Mitchel Boehler led the Vikings in tackles with 16.

Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka thought his team did some things well against a tough team.

“I thought we played well in the kicking game and defense against Swan Valley, but we were just not able to generate enough offense to win the game. I thought our kids played a very tough opponent on the road and acquitted themselves very well. We need to improve in many areas before our next game, but we especially need to improve our offensive line play. I have every confidence that will happen,” he said.

Kapolka was also pleased by an email they received from Swan Valley after the game. “We were forwarded an email from Swan Valley’s Athletic Director commenting on our player’s and fans sportsmanship at the game, and complimenting us on how we handled ourselves. It makes me as a coach very appreciative of our parents and fans, and proud of our players for handling themselves with poise under difficult circumstances. It is one of the core values of our program, and one of the things that makes Cedar Springs a great place.”

The Red Hawks play their first home game of the season tonight, Thursday, August 31, when they host Caledonia at 7 p.m. at Red Hawk Stadium.

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