By Shae Brophy
On Saturday, the West Michigan Hawks traveled to Detroit to take on the Michigan Renegades. While the thermometer read 89 degrees, both teams were ready for the battle to begin. The Hawks struck for a touchdown on their first drive of the game, when quarterback Jeff Krebs found wide receiver Ryan Bell for a 61-yard touchdown. It was Bell’s third touchdown reception of the year. The Hawks also allowed a Renegades touchdown in the first quarter, making the score 6-6 after one quarter.
In the second quarter, wide receiver Omar Haynes brought in a pass for an eight-yard touchdown, his second of the year, making the score 12-6. For Krebs, it was his 9th touchdown pass of the year. From there, the Hawks defense took over, and they did not allow another point. The final score was 12-6, giving the Hawks their first victory in the history of the franchise.
Cornerback Joel Paasch finished with two interceptions, marking the second consecutive game, in which he intercepted two passes, and bringing his total to five on the year. Defensive end Corey Steele recovered two fumbles, one which he forced, and the other forced by Dre Grays. Linebacker Kameron Snyder also forced and recovered a fumble. The Hawks also forced three turnovers on downs, for a total of eight turnovers.
“It was a close game, we never let up and we came out with the W,” said Paasch. “As excited as I am about this win, I’m already looking ahead to next weekend.”
The Hawks had a very effective game on the ground. The running back trio of Raymond Bush, Kameron Snyder, and Jeremiah Cochran was a force all afternoon, and the Renegades could not find a way to stop them from running the ball and the clock.
Head Coach David Lange added: “Overall, it was a great game. We still need to focus on capitalizing on turnovers. I think we played good smash-mouth football, though. There was a determination in this team to bring home the win, and it was truly inspiring to see. As a coach and owner, I’m incredibly proud of these men for coming together and getting the job done.”
The Hawks will be in action again on Saturday, in a big game against the Grand Rapids Thunder. It will be Military Appreciation Night, with all current and former military personnel receiving free admission. A memorial for William Phillips, the grandfather of current Hawks player Darren Trader, will take place as well. Finally, there will be a benefit for Cedar Springs alum and current Hawks assistant coach Shae Brophy, who is battling a brain tumor. There will be a 50/50 drawing, and donations are welcome as well. The game will be played at Skinner Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6, and tickets are $5. We hope to see you there!
Shae Brophy is the Media/Public Relations Director for the West Michigan Hawks.