By Shae Brophy
Saturday evening, the West Michigan Hawks hosted the #7 ranked Michigan Vipers. In what was a very close game, the Hawks were unable to finish their attempt at a comeback, and fell short by a final score of 20-13.
Things did not go according to plan for the Hawks as the game began. The Vipers were able to score three touchdowns in the first quarter, and take a 20-0 lead going in to the second quarter. From that point on, the Hawks defense took over, and the offense did the same.
Hawks wide receiver Dontae Ensley scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, giving the Hawks some much needed momentum going into the halftime break, with the score being 20-13. The Hawks defense came out firing in the third quarter, as well. Cornerback Omar Haynes had an interception, and the defense forced two turnovers on fourth down in the third quarter, giving the Hawks offense a chance to get back on track. After a couple of attempts from the Vipers side of the field, the Hawks were unable to find the end zone.
In the fourth quarter, with the score still 20-13 and four minutes remaining on the clock, the Hawks were given their biggest chance to get back in the game. Cornerback Joel Paasch intercepted the ball at the Hawks’ goal line, and returned it all the way back to the Vipers’ 40. The Hawks proceeded to get into the red zone, but with 1:06 left on the clock, a Vipers interception put the game away.
“The Vipers started out firing on all cylinders. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead really early but it didn’t bother us like it has in past games. We made them play our game from that point on, and we started to wear them down,” said Ensley. “After we made the score 20-13, we had all the hope in the world that we could shock not just the Vipers, but the entire league. It was a very hard fought game, but we came up just short in the end.”
Added head coach David Lange, “I thought we started the game a little flat footed, but we were able to pick it up. We played a heck of a game for the last three quarters, and our guys put it all on the line, it just didn’t work out for us in the end. The guys on our team have really come together more than ever the last couple of weeks, and it is really showing by how we are playing. This week, we play for home field advantage in the post-season. That is where our minds will be for the entire week.”
For details on the Hawks game this weekend in Detroit against the Motor City Jaguars, be sure to follow the West Michigan Hawks on Facebook!