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Cedar Springs hands Mt. Pleasant pre-district loss 34-7

The Cedar Springs defense only allowed one touchdown from Mount Pleasant last Friday. 

By Judy Reed

For the second year in a row, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks faced the Mount Pleasant Oilers in the playoffs and walked away winners. 

Last year, Cedar Springs won the district championship at Mt. Pleasant; this year, Mount Pleasant visited Red Hawk Stadium for the first round of playoffs and faced a tough group of Red Hawks who were determined to win.

“I’m extremely proud of our guys’ efforts on Friday night,” remarked Cedar Springs Coach Gus Kapolka. “We had some guys fill in due to injury and play great games. Connor Ellison made his first ever Varsity start and had two interceptions; freshman Josh Kreikaard and sophomore Blake Scheer filled in at Left Tackle. Ben Shaw played through a very painful hip pointer to score two touchdowns. It was a team effort and everybody stepped up to make it happen.”

Cedar Springs took the lead early with 8:46 on the clock in the first quarter when Aiden Brunin ran 36 yards for the touchdown. Quarterback Jeremy Campione then passed to Kaden Liggett on the two-point conversion, making the score 8-0, Cedar Springs.

They scored again about a minute later, after a Mount Pleasant pass was intercepted by senior Red Hawk Connor Ellison and returned to the 36 yard line. Ben Shaw then ran it 28-yards for the touchdown, with 7:45 left on the clock. Da’montae Barnett then ran in the two-point conversion. The score was now 16-0.

Mount Pleasant scored their only touchdown of the game with 4:02 left in the first quarter, when Mark Goenner ran in a 12-yard touchdown. The point-after kick by Andrew Funnell was good, making the score CS 16, MP 7.

Cedar Springs scored two more times in the second quarter, on a 17-yard run by Aiden Brunin, and 35-yard run by Ben Shaw. Their last touchdown came with 3:04 on the clock in the third quarter with a 43-yard run by Landon Totten. Campione’s run for extra points was no good, making the score CS 34, MP 7.

Cedar Springs gained 341 yards on the ground, and eight in the air. Mount Pleasant had 96 on the ground, and 79 in the air. 

Aiden Brunin was the leading rusher for the Red Hawks with 109 yards; Ben Shaw had 82; Landon Totten 53; Jeremy Campione 28; Nathan Elliston 27; Da’montae Barnett 22; Zack Schmid 21; and Nathan Male 1.

Defensively, Seth Almas led in tackles with 7; Kaden Liggett had 5; Nate Webb had 4, and the rest of the team had 3 or less. Connor Ellison had two interceptions.

This Saturday, Cedar Springs (9-1) will face the Muskegon Big Reds (10-0) at 1 p.m. at Grand Haven Stadium for the District Championship. What is Coach Kapolka doing to get his team ready to face the number one ranked team in Michigan? 

“We are excited to get the opportunity to play the #18 ranked team (USA Today) in the USA on Saturday,” said Kapolka. “It is a great challenge for our program, and we will have to play our best football to win a district championship. With the extra day of preparation, we are going to practice light on Monday then resume our regular practice schedule for the rest of the week.”

The fan theme for Saturday’s game is a RED OUT, so they are asking everyone to wear red. High school student fan buses are being offered for the game on Saturday. Students must sign up by the end of the day Thursday in the Athletic Office. It is $7 to sign up for the bus, but that includes your $6 ticket to the game. Student bus will leave the front of Cedar Springs High School precisely at 11:15 a.m.

Anyone can buy tickets at the gate to the game on Saturday, or on Thursday and Friday during normal school hours in the Athletic Office at Cedar Springs High School.

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