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Cedar Springs falls to South Christian

Cedar Springs quarterback Ryan West hands off the ball. Photo by Nancy Scheer.

By Judy Reed

Going into last Friday night’s football game, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks knew it would be tough. Out of the many times they faced the South Christian Sailors, they had only beaten them once—and that was last season. 

But it was not to be this year.

On the second play of the game at Red Hawk Stadium, Red Hawk Josh Kriekaard sacked Sailor quarterback Jacob DeHaan for a 5 yard loss, making it 3rd down and 11. But that didn’t deter the Sailors. DeHaan came right back and threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to his younger brother, Charlie DeHaan, and Nate Brink kicked their extra point. The score was now 7-0, only a minute into the game.

South Christian went on to score twice more in the second quarter—on a 3-yard pass from DeHaan to Seth Ritsema, with Brinks’ extra point kick good; and on a run by Brinks and another kick. 

Cedar Springs scored with 44 seconds left in the second quarter on one-yard run by quarterback Ryan West. The two-point run was no good.

South Christian scored one last time with 4:32 left in the third quarter, on a 6-yard run by Brinks. He then kicked the extra point. 

Cedar Springs did not score again, and the final was score South Christian 28, Cedar Springs 6. 

We asked Coach Gus Kapolka what did he think his team did well and what do they need to work on?

“We didn’t execute well enough on offense to beat a team as good as South.  We have to continue to improve and work on the little things. I thought we were able to put a couple of good drives together after going down 20-0, but it wasn’t enough to overcome that deficit,” he said.

Cedar Springs had 216 yards rushing. Carter Falan led the way with 84; Rory Schoenborn 65; Ryan West 32; Ryan Mitchell 15; Kevin Vanderhaag 10; Nate Slager 9; and Marek Olenak 1. They also had 21 yards in the air on a pass from Schoenborn to West.

South Christian had 199 yards rushing, led by Brinks with 103; Jacob DeHaan with 71; and Charlie Schreur with 25. They also had 115 in the air, led by Charlie DeHaan with 76; Brinks with 7; Carson Vis with 4; and Ritsema with 3.

Cedar Springs had 45 tackles, with 20 assists. Cashius Heiss led with 9; Nate Slager had 8; Connor Diemond had 6; Marek Olenak and Josh Kriekaard both had 4. The rest of the team had 3 or less.

South Christian had 64 tackles and 2 assists. Leading was Cayden Dykema and Cam Post, each with 12; Ben Mulder with 8; Seth Ritsema 6; Jake Cashen 5; Grabriel Kisner 4; and the rest of the team 3 or less.

The Red Hawks are now 0-4, after losing to some of the best teams in Michigan. This Friday, Cedar Springs travels to Ottawa Hills. What challenges will they face from the Bengals?

“Ottawa scored 35 points against us last year and they return a dynamic running back that we will have to work very hard to slow down,” explained Kapolka. 

Come on out and cheer on your Red Hawks this Friday, at 7 p.m. at 2055 Rosewood Ave SE, Grand Rapids.

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