By student reporter, Maddie Nichols
The Cedar Springs Red Hawks varsity football team ended their season with a blowout against the Ottawa Hills’ Bengals. Although saying goodbye to our senior football players is tough, concluding with a big win made it a little easier.
The Hawks started off the game with carries by seniors Jacob Hooker and Dylan Ostrom-Howell, leading junior John Todd into the end zone with 10 minutes and 45 seconds remaining of the first quarter. With an immediate head start, the Hawks didn’t let down. Sophomore Lucas Pienton intercepted a pass and ran it in for a touchdown shortly after, and with a solid kick from senior Dustin Shaw, the score became 14-0. Todd made his way to the Bengal’s end zone again after a long run, with a little less than 7 minutes before the end of the first quarter. Pienton also made his way to another touchdown with a little over 3 minutes to go, and with a two-point conversion by Hooker, the score became 29-0. However, Cedar wasn’t stopping there. With only 38 seconds left, sophomore Ryan Ringler made a touchdown, making the lead even more significant. Tackles throughout the quarter by seniors Austin Basso, Jaron Spencer, Collin Alvesteffer and Thomas Hill, as well as Ringler, Todd and Pienton, prevented the Bengals from scoring, ending the first quarter with a score of 36-0.
Senior Thomas Hill started off the second quarter on a high note for the Hawks with a touchdown 12 seconds in. The score then became 43-0. Hill and junior Nate Patin held off Ottawa Hills for a while, but the Bengals picked off a Cedar pass and ran it into the end zone, making the score 43-6, with Cedar still holding a huge lead. Carries from seniors Austin Ellis and Joe Reich-Tanis led to junior Nick Campione running in for a touchdown with 6 minutes and 52 seconds remaining of the first half, making the score 50-6. Tackles by Pienton, juniors Darius Barnett and Colton Gould, and senior Jaron Lucas gave the ball back to Cedar. Junior Jake West made a touchdown with 3 minutes left, increasing the score to 57-6. Tackles by junior Riley Hawkins, Ringler and Ellis held that score going into the second half.
The second half was full of support from all of the players. Senior starters went on the sideline and watched their underclassmen play their hearts out. With emotions running wild, the Hawks did nothing but prevail. Carries by Todd and junior Paul Krajewski kept the momentum going, as well as tackles by Spencer, Pienton, and Krajewski. Then, as if the night couldn’t be any greater, senior Dustin Shaw kicked the longest field goal in Cedar Springs’ history—40 yards—making the score 60-6, and that’s where the score stayed until the end.
The season was an emotional and intense one, but the community of Cedar Springs could not be any prouder of the way it ended. The boys of fall graduating will be going on to greater things, and the ones remaining will keep their legacy going next year. Cedar Springs finished the season 3-3 in conference, and 4-5 overall.