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Categorized | Sports

Red Hawks roll over Northview 50-15

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks knew going into last Friday’s OK-White conference game against Northview that if they were going to have any chance at winning the game, they were going to have stop the Wild Cats’ explosive running back, Ja’kaurie Kirkland.

Aiden Brunin (28) and Miles Cartwright (4) celebrate in the end zone after Cartwright picks up a fumble and runs 65 yards for a touchdown against Northview. Photo by Rob and Kelly LaLone

When the Red Hawks took the field at Red Hawk stadium, they meant business. And it showed in the way they executed their game plan.

“We had a great week of preparation for the game, and we were really focused,” explained Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “We wanted to limit their run game, establish our run game, and play inspired special teams—and we did all three of those things on Friday night.”

Cedar Springs kicked off to Northview to start the game, and after losing yardage in their first possession, Northview punted to Cedar Springs. They took possession on the Northview 47-yard line, and on the first play, with 9:54 on the clock, Red Hawk Nathan Elliston ran 47-yards for a touchdown. He also ran in the two-point conversion, to make the score 8-0 Cedar Springs.

The Wild Cats came back just a few minutes later to score when Daniel Frey passed to Kaden Boucher for a 6-yard touchdown. Kolbe Vandenberg then passed to Kinji Black for the two-point conversion and the score was now 8-8, with 6:18 left in the quarter.

Cedar Springs scored again on their next drive, when Ben Shaw ran for a 24-yard touchdown with 4:24 left on the clock in the first. Nathan Elliston ran in the two-point conversion. The score was now 16-8, Cedar Springs.

Northview failed to get a first down on their next drive, and tried a fake punt on fourth down. That resulted in Cedar Springs taking over on the Northview 36-yard line, with 2:57 left in the first. They worked their way down to the 10-yard line, where Aiden Brunin ran the ball in for a touchdown with 13 seconds on the clock. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 22, Northview 8.

Both teams scored again in the second quarter. Northview scored with 7:31 left on the clock on a pass from Daniel Frey to Kaden Boucher for a 9-yard touchdown. Eric Mendez then kicked the extra point. The score was now 22-15, Cedar Springs.

Then, with 2:42 left on the clock in the second, Northview’s Frey passed the ball to Boucher, who ran 3-yards and fumbled it. The ball was recovered on the CS 35-yard line by Red Hawk Miles Cartwright, who ran 65-yards for a touchdown. The extra point try was no good. The score was now CS 28, Northview 15.

Cedar Springs then kicked off to Northview, and on 3rd and 11, Frey passed to Prade Horling but it was intercepted by Red Hawk Aiden Brunin at the Northview 50. Cedar Springs then took over, and after several plays, they scored on a 23-yard pass from QB Jeremy Campione to Brunin. Ben Shaw then ran in the 2-point conversion. With just 13 seconds left in the half, the score was now CS 36, Northview 15.

When the 3rd quarter rolled around, Cedar Springs still had not run out of steam. Northview kicked off to the Red Hawks, and they started their drive on the Cedar Springs 35. Brunin ran for 10 yards on the first play, and then ran 55-yards for the touchdown. Campione then passed to Da’Montae Barnett for the two-point conversion. With 11:05 left on the clock in the third, it was now CS 44, Northview 15.

Cedar Springs scored again at the end of the 3rd quarter with 1:12 left on the clock. Northview’s Frey attempted to pass to Kyle Vanderjagt but Red Hawk Miles Cartwright intercepted it at the CS 25, and returned it to the Northview 49. That set up the next play, when Zack Schmid ran 49 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was now Cedar Springs 50, Northview 15, with one quarter left to play. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

How important does Kapolka think the turnovers were for their team? “Turnovers are always really big, but when you can covert turnovers to points like Miles’ fumble return for a touchdown, it breaks the back of your opponent,” he explained.

The Red Hawks garnered 367 yards rushing, with at least 10 different players each having a piece of it, and 9 of them had yardage in the double digits. Brunin led the pack with 98; Schmid had 69; Elliston 54; Shaw 34; Barnett 29; Jeff Clark 27; Campione 24; Nathan Male 15; Dylan Greenland 11; and Logan Petty 6.

Campione completed two passes on two attempts for 32 yards, to Brunin (23 yards) and Kaden Liggett (9 yards).

The Red Hawks limited Northview to a total of 120 yards rushing. Half of that was Kirkland, who had 63 yards; Frey had 28; and Gavin Jones 20.

Frey completed 13 passes on 24 attempts for 170 yards in the air. Receivers included Boucher, Vanderjagt, Kirkland, Horling, and Jailen Tatum.

On Friday, September 20, the Red Hawks will travel to Greenville to take on the Yellow Jackets in a long-standing rivalry between conference foes. What does Kapolka think they need to do to win?

“We need to continue our improvement on the offensive and defensive fronts in order to beat Greenville,” he said. “This is a rivalry game for us, and we look forward to the challenge that the Yellow Jackets pose.”

Cedar Springs is now 1-0 in conference, and 2-1 overall. Greenville is 0-1 in conference, and 0-3 overall. They lost last Friday to Lowell in conference play, 40-0.

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