By Shae Brophy
The West Michigan Hawks completed their first season on Saturday evening, August 7, and in a very big way. The Hawks hosted the Michigan Grizzlies at Skinner Field, in a game that was dedicated to Charlie Finch and the Finch family. (Charlie Finch was killed in an auto accident earlier in the week.)
Things got off to a shaky start. Quarterback Jeff Krebs threw a pass that was intercepted and returned for a Grizzlies touchdown early in the first quarter. The two point attempt was stuffed by the Hawks, but the score was 6-0. From there, the Hawks took over. Krebs connected with wide receiver Darwin Mathis for a Hawks touchdown on the next drive, and Dontae Ensley’s extra point was up and good, giving the Hawks their first lead, 7-6. On their next drive, the Hawks moved the ball all the way down inside the 5 yard line, when Walter Trotter rumbled his way into the end zone for his first touchdown of the year. It was 14-6 Hawks.
Running back Jeremiah Trotter joined the fun on the next drive, also scoring his first touchdown of the season to make it 21-6 Hawks. On their last drive of the half, Krebs tossed a deep bomb to Ensley, who brought in the touchdown as the buzzer sounded to end the first half 29-6 Hawks.
The second half was no different than the first. In the third quarter, running back Kameron Snyder found the end zone for the first time this season, making it 36-6 Hawks. From there, running back Dre Grays took over the scoring. He recorded his first two touchdowns of the season, one in the third quarter and another on a 45-yard run in the 4th quarter. That made the final score 49-6 Hawks.
On top of a stellar game offensively, the Hawks made plenty of noise on defense as well. Safety Dylan Bogucki had two interceptions, and cornerback Omar Haynes had one. Cornerback Joel Paasch and linebacker Kameron Snyder both had fumble recoveries, and the defensive line/linebackers were in the backfield all evening, recording numerous sacks.
“The last game of the season showed me how much we grew as a team, yet we also grew as a family, and brothers in arms. The modern day gladiators,” said Dre Grays, who ran for two touchdowns in the game. “We do it all for the love of the game, and our beautiful fans. Also, I would like to send my love and prayers to the Finch family. Hawk for life!”
“I thought we played one heck of a game. What you saw at that game is just a glimpse of what is to come next season,” added head coach/owner David Lange. “Our guys played good hard football, and they played with intensity for four quarters. What makes me the happiest is the fact that we were able to raise $580 for the Finch family. I can’t imagine the pain that they are going through, and I truly hope that we were able to make their day at least a little bit better.”
The West Michigan Hawks would like to thank all of their fans who made this season possible. Without the fans, we would not be here! Thank to you every fan who came out to a game, followed us on Facebook, or visited our website. We appreciate every single one of you, and we can’t wait to see you again next season!