By Lauren VanDenHout
The Cedar Springs Red Hawks faced off against the Northview Wildcats for a spot in the 2015 playoffs. This matchup took place last Friday, October 23, at Northview. The Red Hawks took charge of the field early on, and carried an aggressive mentality throughout the entire game. With a final score of 52-29, Cedar Springs proved they have what it takes to be back to back conference champions.
Cedar Springs started out strong in the first half. The first touchdown was made by senior Isaiah MacDonald, while junior Collin Alvesteffer made the two-point conversion. This dynamic duo managed to make another connection later on in the first quarter, with three minutes remaining. Macdonald again got the touchdown, and Alvesteffer scored the conversion.
In the second quarter, senior Da’Marcus Barnett intercepted a Wildcat pass that reignited the Red Hawks’ offensive brutality. Junior John Todd earned the third touchdown for Cedar Springs that quarter, while senior Cameron Umphrey made the two-point. Umphrey also made an explosive run down the middle that the Wildcats’ defense was unable to stop until the Red Hawks got dangerously close to their end zone. This run led Alvesteffer to score another touchdown. The quarterback also made the pass to MacDonald for the two-point conversion. To end the second quarter, Alvesteffer put another touchdown on the scoreboard to make the score 32-14 leading into the second half.
The Wildcats started to fight back offensively in the third quarter, however, the Red Hawks were stronger. Offensively, Alvesteffer was the only one to score a touchdown in the third quarter. The conversion was completed by Umphrey. The score was now 46-21.
Alvesteffer intercepted a pass early on in the final quarter. With an unstoppable lead, this gave other Red Hawks the chance to step up and contribute to their team. Senior Connor Willitts made an aggressive run for a touchdown with three minutes remaining in the quarter. This final touchdown sealed the win for Cedar Springs to make it into the playoffs. The conversion after Willitts’ touchdown was incomplete, however. Defensively, big blocks put up by senior Alex Tanis and junior Ryan Ringler in the final quarter helped ensure the Red Hawks’ victory.
The Red Hawks finished the regular season 4-1 in conference (6-3 overall), and tied with Forest Hills Eastern, also 4-1 in conference (8-1 overall), for a share of the OK Bronze championship. This is the second year in a row they are OK Bronze champions.
Cedar Springs is away at Zeeland East against the Chixs for the first round of the playoffs on Saturday. Kickoff time is 1 p.m.