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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Red Hawks football"

Cedar Springs runs Lowell out of first place


By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs had a lot riding on the outcome of the varsity football game against Lowell last Friday. How the rest of the season would play out would depend on what happened. If the Red Hawks won, they would take sole possession of first place in the OK-White, and that sixth win would give them a berth in the playoffs for the third year in a row. That’s a lot of pressure. But the Red Hawks didn’t fall prey to the “what ifs.” They just went out and played their game—and won 44-20.

Teamwork and running their game plan has helped the Red Hawks earn another berth in the playoffs. Here Zak Schmid (right) runs with the ball against Lowell. Photo by Rob and Kelly Lalone.

“All week we talked about our focus on the task at hand and not to get caught up in potential outcomes,” explained Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “We were locked in from the start and executed well on both sides of the ball early.”

Cedar Springs scored early and often, as they have done all season. They struck first with 8:45 on the clock in the first quarter when the team drove the ball down the field 65 yards and Aiden Brunin scored on a one-yard run into the end zone. Ben Shaw then ran in the extra points, and they led 8-0.

A little over a minute later, Brunin intercepted a pass at the Lowell 45 and returned it to the Lowell 35, where the Red Hawks took over. Three plays later they scored again, with 6:05 on the clock, on a 22-yard pass from CS quarterback Jeremy Campione to Nathan Elliston. Landon Totten’s run for extra points was no good, making the score 14-0.

On Lowell’s next drive, Doan Dean fumbled the ball at the Lowell 40, and it was recovered by Red Hawk Aiden Brunin with 3:14 on the clock. Cedar Springs scored for the third time four plays later, when Campione ran to the left 5-yards and into the end zone for the touchdown. He then passed to Brunin for two extra points. At the end of the first quarter, the score was Cedar Springs 22, Lowell 0.

The Red Hawks scored again early in the second quarter. The Red Arrows were at the Cedar Springs 25 with 10:08 on the clock when Brett Spanbauer fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Red Hawk Brennen Porter. Cedar Springs scored two plays later, when Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 73-yard touchdown—the first of two long touchdown runs for Shaw. Campione’s run into the end zone for extra points was good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 30, Lowell 0.

Lowell finally scored on their next drive, made up of 10 plays, all runs by Brett Spanbauer. He scored on a two-yard touchdown, with 4:49 on the clock. The pass for extra points to Brennan Pawloski was no good. The score was now CS 30, Lowell 6.

Cedar Springs scored again in the third quarter with 7:11 on the clock, when Zak Schmid ran for a 45-yard touchdown. Brunin then ran in the extra points. The score was now Cedar Springs 38, Lowell 6.

Lowell scored again early in the fourth quarter, with 9:12 on the clock, when Doan Dean ran right for a 7-yard touchdown. The extra points were no good. The score was now CS 38, Lowell 12.

Cedar Springs was back on the board again less than a minute later, when Ben Shaw had his second long TD run of the night, running 82 yards and into the end zone to score. Brunin’s run for extra points was no good. The score was now CS 44, Lowell 12.

Lowell scored one last time with 4:37 left on the clock, when Doan Dean ran right for a 4-yard touchdown. His run into the end zone for extra points was also good. The score was now CS 44, Lowell 20.

Cedar Springs punted on their next drive, but on Lowell’s third play, a pass from Doan Dean to Cade Solomonson was intercepted by Red Hawk Miles Cartwright at the Lowell 37, with 2:38 on the clock. The Red Hawks ran one play, and the game was over, with Cedar Springs winning 44-12.

Cedar Springs netted 336 yards on the ground with several different players contributing. Ben Shaw led in yards with 198 yards on five carries; Aiden Brunin had 43 yards on 10 carries; Zack Schmid had 54 yards on three carries; Landon Totten had 20 yards on three carries; Jeremy Campione had 18 yards on three carries; and Nathan Elliston ad 12 yards on four carries.

CS quarterback Jeremy Campione completed one of one attempted pass, for 22 yards to Nathan Elliston for a touchdown. 

Lowell had 209 yards rushing, with Brett Spanbauer leading the way with 134 yards on 23 carries; Doan Dean had 60 on 20 carries; Nate Clark had 14 on five carries; and Sam Lixie had one yard on one carry.

Lowell completed 12 of 18 passes for 93 yards. Brett Spanbauer was 7 for 12 and 44 yards, with one interception; Doan Dean was 4 for 5 and 29 yards with one interception; Andy Anschutz was 1 for 1 with 20 yards.  

Seth Almas led in tackles for the Red Hawks with 11; Aiden Brunin and Nate Webb both had 8; Kaden Liggett and David Whitten both had 7; Miles Cartwright 6; Zak Schmid, Kaleb Colby and Nathan Elliston 5 each; Landon Totten and Ben Shaw 4; and seven others 2 or less.

Kapolka credited the team’s scouts with helping them to prepare for the game. “I thought our scout offense did a great job getting us ready for Lowell. Dylan Greenland and David Dipiazza especially were important to our preparation during the week,” he explained.

Cedar Springs is now 3-0 in conference, and 6-1 overall. They need to win the next two games—against Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills (1-6) and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (2-5)—to win the OK White Conference Championship outright. This Friday’s game against Ottawa Hills is Homecoming at Red Hawk Stadium, and has a start time of 5:30 p.m. 

What does Coach Kapolka think the team has to do to hold on to first place?

“We need to maintain our focus even with the distractions of early start times and Homecoming activities in order to win the OK White Championship outright,” he said.

Come on out and cheer on your Red Hawks in the last regular home game of the season!


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Red Hawks manhandle Rangers in 30-6 win


By Judy Reed

Ben Shaw contributed 108 yards rushing in the Red Hawks’ win over the Rangers. Here he ran 59 yards for a touchdown. Photo by Rob and Kelly LaLone.

When the Forest Hills Rangers paid a visit to Red Hawk Stadium last Friday night, there was tension in the air as the two teams both sat atop the OK White, and the team who won the game the last two years went on to win the conference. But there was no mistaking which team owned the field at Red Hawk Stadium once the players took the field.

Cedar Springs scored four times and held Forest Hills Central to one lone touchdown in the 30-6 win.

Cedar Springs had 21 first downs, 309 yards rushing, 72 yards passing, and had the ball for 31:40. FHC had 8 first downs, 42 yards rushing, 92 yards passing, and had the ball for 16:20.

What was the secret to their success against a very athletic FHC team?

“I’m proud of how our guys came out and established control of the line of scrimmage. Our offensive line (Nate Webb, Cam Heiss, Bryant Maley, Brady Amell, Seth Almas, Derek Dymerski, Kaden Liggett) were the biggest factor in our victory,” explained CS Coach Gus Kapolka.

“Our preparation was key.  We had a few new wrinkles in our defensive game plan and it seemed to throw FHC off balance early and allow us to build a 24-0 half-time lead.”

The Red Hawks scored late in the first quarter, with 2:27 left on the clock, when quarterback Jeremy Campione passed up the middle to Nate Webb for a 17-yard touchdown. Campione’s run into the endzone was good for extra points, making the score 8-0 Red Hawks.

CS scored next in the second quarter with 7:09 on the clock  when Ben Shaw ran up the middle for a 59-yard touchdown. Aiden Brunin then ran in the extra points. Score was now 16-0.

The Red Hawks found the endzone again with a little over a minute left in the second quarter when Aiden Brunin ran to the right for a 1-yard touchdown. Campione then passed to Kaden Liggett for the extra points. That made the score 24-0 at halftime.

The Rangers came out with some renewed vigor after half, scored with 8:33 left in the third when Carson Mocherman passed Hayden Sargeant for a 33-yard touchdown. Mocherman’s run for extra points was no good. Score was now 24-6.

Cedar Springs scored one last time in the fourth quarter with 9:16 left on the clock, when Aiden Brunin ran to the right for a one-yard touchdown. The point after kick by Owen Sweezer was blocked, making the score 30-6. It was the last time either team would score.

Eight different Red Hawks contributed to their ground game. Ben Shaw had 108 yards on 11 carries;  Aiden Brunin had 80 yards on 17 carries; Landon Totten had 31 yards 5 runs; Nathan Male had 25 yards on 2 attempts; Jeremy Campione had 20 yards on 6 carries; Zak Schmid had 17 yards on 4 attempts; Da’montae Barnett had 17 yards on 3 runs; and Nathan Elliston had 11 yards on 5 carries.

Pass receivers included Da’montae Barnett (32 yards); Aiden Brunin (23 yards); and Nate Webb (17 yards). 

Kaden Liggett caught a 29-yard interception.

The win upped Cedar Springs’ record to 5-1 and 3-0 in conference. They are tied with Lowell for first place in the OK-White, and they face them Friday night at 5 p.m. at Lowell. (Note the game was rescheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

“Lowell will be a tough test for us,” remarked Kapolka. “They are a physical football team who likes to run the ball and play good defense. We will also have to be disciplined due to their option offense.”

Head out to Lowell on Friday and make some noise for your Red Hawks!

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Cedar Springs holds back Allendale in 42-35 win


The Red Hawk offense ran their offense like a well-oiled machine, chewing up the field with 451 yards in rushing that resulted in six touchdowns.

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks (OK White) hosted the Allendale Falcons (OK Blue) last Friday night in their first ever meeting. Both teams had the same record going into the game (2-0 conference, 3-1 overall). But the Red Hawk offense ran their offense like a well-oiled machine, chewing up the field with 451 yards in rushing that resulted in six touchdowns. 

“We had a really good night running the football with three players over 100 yards rushing,” remarked Coach Gus Kapolka. “I think it reflects the improvement of our offensive line since week 1. That group has really improved and is starting to really take it to the defense.”

Ryan Ringler chalked up 163 yards, Sage Serbenta had 136, and Lucas Pienton 101. They each averaged 8 and 9 yards per carry. Kolby Swank, Zack Schmid, and Ben Shaw also contributed.

The first score of the night came with 3:55 left on the clock in the first quarter, when Cedar Springs quarterback Kolby Swank ran to the right for 7-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good. Allendale then got on the scoreboard with 1:45 left when Falcon quarterback Mason Hotovy passed left to Carter Ginn for a 45-yard touchdown. The extra point was good, and Allendale led for the only time during the game at the end of the first quarter, 7-6.

Cedar Springs scored twice during the second quarter, first with 10:50 left on a 13-yard run by Ryan Ringler, then again with only :15 left when Swank passed to Lucas Pienton for a 13-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, and Cedar Springs had the lead 20-7.

Cedar Springs scored again in the third quarter with 6:23 left when Swank ran right for 2-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, and the score was 28-7.

Allendale then scored with 2:24 left in the third on a one-yard run by Owen Burk. The point after kick was no good, and the score was now 28-13.

Cedar scored again in the third with :57 remaining when Ringler ran up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, and the score was 36-13.

Allendale turned up the heat in the fourth quarter, scoring three times. They scored early, with 11:02 left on a pass by Owen Burk to Mason Vredeveld for a 22-yard touchdown, and two-point conversion. Score was then 36-21. 

Allendale scored again with 7:23 left when Burk ran right for a 2-yard touchdown, and the point after kick was good. Score was now 36-28, and the Red Hawks were in danger of losing their lead.

But Cedar Springs rose to the occasion, and Ringler ran up the middle for a 45-yard touchdown with 5:54 on the clock. The two-point conversion was no good. Score was now 42-28.

Allendale scored for the final time with 2:28 left when Burk ran up the middle 55 yards for the touchdown, and the extra point kick was good. The final score was Cedar Springs 42, Allendale 35.

Those 35 points was the most that the Cedar Springs defense has allowed so far in a game. They had only allowed 46 points total in the four previous games combined.

But it’s right on par with what Allendale has been scoring—going into last Friday’s game they were averaging 37.5 points per game. “Allendale is a good offensive football team with some explosive players,” said Coach Kapolka. “We had a 3-touchdown lead in the second half, and we had some breakdowns that allowed them to get back in the game. We need to correct those mistakes moving forward and learn from them.”

Leading in tackles for the Red Hawks was Ryan Ringler with 11; Lucas Pienton with 10; Gage Gardner with 8; Ben Shaw with 7; Landon Totten with 5; and 9 other Red Hawks with between 1 and 4 each.

The Red Hawks are now 4-1 overall, and lead the OK White with a 3-0 record. This Friday, September 28, they travel to face Forest Hills Central, who is 2-3 overall, and 1-1 in the OK White. Game time is 7 p.m.

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, Featured, SportsComments Off on Cedar Springs holds back Allendale in 42-35 win

Red Hawks go on road, defeat FHN Huskies, 44-21


By Kayleigh Boomgaard

The Cedar Springs varsity Red Hawks took on the Huskies of Forest Hills Northern on Friday, October 6,  at a conference away game at FHN’s stadium. The Hawks have a current overall standing of 5-2, with both of their losses and one of their wins outside of the OK White conference. The face off between the Hawks and Huskies resulted in a final score of Cedar Springs 44, Forest Hills Northern, 21.

The first touchdown of the night was scored by junior Ryan Ringler, followed by a completed two-point conversion, making the score 8-0, with 6:46 left to play in the first quarter. The Huskies came back quickly, with Xavier Webster making a pass left to teammate Ian Rampersad, who then lateraled to Brandon Matthews for a 33-yard run into the end zone. 

Red Hawk varsity player Lucas Pienton scored the Hawk’s second touchdown of the night with 1:05 left in the quarter. The Hawks ended the first quarter with a completed two-point conversion after a pass made by quarterback Nicholas Campione to senior Parker Amell. 

Throughout the game, the Hawks held off the Huskies, who made no point advances in the second or third quarters. Senior running-back John Jacob Todd began the second quarter with a 59-yard touchdown. Campione assisted his team with a run into the end zone for a two-point conversion after Todd’s previous run. Todd went on to score another touchdown just before the end of the second quarter, with 59 seconds left to play in the first half.

Additional points throughout the night were scored by Cedar Springs senior halfback Darius Barnett and quarterback Campione. The Huskies scored the final touchdowns of the night, with runs by Ryan Balkema and Mack Boyer, and PATs (points after touchdowns) kicked by Carter Clark. 

In their quest to win the OK White, the varsity Red Hawks will battle first place Forest Hills Central (5-0 conference, 7-0 overall), on Friday, October 13 at Red Hawk Stadium. It’s also senior night. According to Athletic Director John Norton, they will introduce senior football players and cheerleaders PRIOR to the game on Friday. They ask that all parents of seniors meet at the flagpole no later than 6:30 p.m. on Friday. They will then do introductions at 6:40PM. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Come out and cheer on your Red Hawks!

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, Featured, SportsComments Off on Red Hawks go on road, defeat FHN Huskies, 44-21

Red Hawks beat Belding in close game


Photo by A. Brumleve

Photo by A. Brumleve

A winning streak! That is what the Red Hawk varsity football team accomplished with last Friday’s 14-12 thrilling victory over Belding. This team seems to have a penchant for close, down to the wire contests, as this game was not over until Belding missed a potential game winning field goal with 30 seconds left in the game. If the people of Cedar Springs notice the additional grey hairs on the parents and coaches heads, you know why.

Belding got the scoring started with a lengthy drive that took most of the first quarter, with a 32-yard scamper by Chris Daller. The extra point was blocked, however, by A.J. Olszewski. The Red Hawks countered with a fine return of the ensuing kickoff, by Zack Carpentier, that gave them possession deep in Belding’s side of the field. Cedar capitalized on the drive on a 3-yard TD run by James Putnam and the extra point by Ryan Austin. Belding took the halftime lead of 12-7 on a QB keeper by Daller. They missed the extra point again; this would come back the haunt Belding in the end.

From left to right Shane Bratt #30, Scott Vodry #12, Tyler Baker #46, Andrew Klompstra #68.

From left to right Shane Bratt #30, Scott Vodry #12, Tyler Baker #46, Andrew Klompstra #68.

The Red Hawks took the opening second half kick off and drove down and scored on a 5 yard TD pass from Tyler Covell to Olszewski followed by the Austin extra point. Cedar took a 14-12 lead into the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Belding held the Red Hawks deep in their end and took possession with just 2 minutes remaining. They drove the field and were set up for a 24-yard field goal. The snap was good, hold was good, but the kick was wide right. Jubilation exploded on the Red Hawk sideline and stands.

Cedar, (3-3 in OK Blue and 4-4 overall) will go into their final game this coming week at league leading West Catholic (6-0 in OK Blue and 8-0 overall) with a chance to finish the season with a winning record.

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Red Hawks claw their way to victory over Panthers


photo by R. Klompstra

photo by R. Klompstra

The Cedar Springs varsity football team finally found a way to win a close game last Friday night, at Red Hawk stadium, against Comstock Park, with a 21-20 victory. After losing a heartbreaking game the previous week to Forest Hills Northern in overtime 28-27, the Red Hawks were determined to finish and come away on homecoming with a victory. On a rainy night both offenses were prone to turnovers and sloppy play, but it led to a very exciting finish for the crowd.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Panthers opened the scoring after a lengthy drive. The Red Hawks took advantage of a turnover deep in Comstock’s end with a one yard burst by Shane Bratt. With the first half winding down, it appeared that the score would stayed tied, but Comstock’s Trevor Crittendon caught a short pass and broke 6 tackles on his way to a touchdown that gave the Panthers a 14-7 halftime lead.

Photo by R. Klompstra

Photo by R. Klompstra

With a back and forth third quarter that included a blocked punt by Cedar’s Andrew Klompstra, Comstock broke through and scored on a Kevin McCarty’s 5-yard run, but missed the extra point, for a 20-7 lead going into the forth quarter. With 9 minutes to go in the game, the Red Hawks drove the field and scored on Bratt’s second touchdown of the game. Drawing the score to 20-14, the Red Hawk defense forced a quick punt that resulted in the final drama of the night. Cedar’s James Putnam attempted to field the punt but muffed it. Comstock Park apparently took advantage by returning the muff back for a touchdown, but by rule, a muffed punt cannot be advanced. With 2 minutes to go in the game, Comstock had the ball and looked in control. On the second play of the Panther’s drive, Cedar’s Kenny Mitz stole the handoff and ran it back 70 yards for a touchdown, and Ryan Austin’s extra point gave Cedar the final point in the 21-20 victory.

The Red Hawks look to even their record as they go on the road to face Belding with third place in the OK-Blue up for grabs, this coming Friday night.

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Broncos rough up Red Hawks


Photo by R. Klompstra

Photo by R. Klompstra

The Red Hawk varsity football team’s roller coaster season continued last Friday night with a 28-7 loss to the Coopersville Broncos. The season long struggle to sustain a drive on offense reared its ugly head again as the Hawks were unable to consistently move the ball. The defense bent but did not break, in the first quarter, holding the Broncos out of the end zone. But they yielded two scores in the second quarter, and went into the half down 14-0.

Photos by R. Klompstra

Photos by R. Klompstra

The Broncos scored a quick touchdown on an interception return, putting Cedar down 20-0 early in the third quarter. The Red Hawks showed some resolve and drove the field and scored on a 20-yard run by Shane Bratt. On the ensuing Bronco drive, the Red Hawk defense held and forced them into a fourth down deep in their own end. A strong rush on the punter led to a questionable penalty that allowed Coopersville to retain possession and squash the momentum that the Red Hawks had built. Coopersville closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter for the final off 28-7.

Cedar Springs, 1-2 in conference and 2-3 overall, were led by Bratt on offensive with 122 yards rushing on 12 carries, and Canlon Bruer hauled in three receptions for 28 yards. Cedar is home this coming Friday against Forest Hills Northern at 7:00 p.m. at Red Hawk Stadium. The Hawks will be eager to start Red Flannel weekend off with a victory in front of a full house.

Posted in SportsComments Off on Broncos rough up Red Hawks

Red Hawks rock the Rams


The Red Hawks had 472 yards rushing and held the Rams to only 7. Photo by J. Reed

The Red Hawks had 472 yards rushing and held the Rams to only 7. Photo by J. Reed

On a glorious football weather night in Cedar Springs, the Red Hawks went “old school” on Grand Rapids Central and defeated the Rams 48-14 with solid line play. The Red Hawk offensive line of Brandon Flanagan, Andrew Klompstra, Trevor Hemry, Jeremy Stellema, and Sam Bekins paved the way for 472 rushing yards. With the offensive line clicking on all cylinders, linebackers Tyler Baker and Scott Vodry held up their end by limiting GR Central to just 7 yards rushing. By maximizing the run game and limiting the Rams to nothing but the pass, the game was never in question.

Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

The Rams opened the scoring with a 28-yard pass to Nino Payton from Randy Howard and led 8-0 on their first possession. That was the last they would see of the lead as the Red Hawk line opened huge holes on the way to 48 straight points. James Putnam rambled for 3 touchdowns, Shane Bratt legged out an 89 yard touchdown run, and Zack Carpentier finished the scoring with a 69 yard sweep. Bratt led all rushers with 209 yards on 17 carries. The Red Hawks welcomed a new place kicker to the team, Ryan Austin, who converted all four of his extra point tries. The Rams finished the scoring with another scoring strike from Howard to Payton, who finished with 6 receptions for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Photo by Aimee Brumleve

Photo by Aimee Brumleve

The Red Hawks, 2-2 overall, 1-1 in OK Blue, will take the momentum from this victory into next Friday night’s game against the Broncos of Coopersville in Coopersville. The Broncos are known for their disciplined style and tradition of winning, a test the young Red Hawks will have to prepare for both physically and mentally.

Posted in Featured, SportsComments Off on Red Hawks rock the Rams


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