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Cedar Springs wins over Thornapple-Kellogg, 34-7

Cedar Springs wins over Thornapple-Kellogg, 34-7
Junior Aiden Brunin runs with the ball against Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg. 

By Judy Reed

The long wait is over for varsity high school football, and last Friday’s game at Red Hawk Stadium did not disappoint. The Cedar Springs Red Hawks showed fans Friday night that they are serious about being a contender in their new conference—the OK Gold. 

“It was a very solid effort against a good Thornapple-Kellogg team,” remarked Coach Gus Kapolka. “I was proud of how our kids responded after all the interruptions we’ve had in the preseason. It was great to be back out on the field and achieve a sense of normalcy during a very strange period in all of our lives.”

Thornapple-Kellogg scored first with 3:23 left in the first quarter on a run by Cole Shoobridge for 2-yard  touchdown. The extra point was good.

Cedar Springs scored their first touchdown with 11:46 left in the second quarter on a 29-yard run by sophomore Antwuan Nicholls. Junior Aiden Brunin ran in the extra points, making the score CS 8, TK 7.

The Red Hawks scored again toward the end of the second quarter when Brunin ran the ball in from the 1-yard line. His extra points attempt was no good. The score at the half was CS 14, TK 7.

Cedar Springs scored again with 2:51 left in the third quarter on an 11-yard run by Brunin. Senior QB Jeremy Campione’s pass for extra points was incomplete.

The Red Hawks then scored twice more in the fourth quarter, first on a long 45-yard run by Campione, with 11:51 left to play; and then again on another long run, this time by Nicholls, who took the ball and scampered 59 yards to the endzone with 5:46 left to play. Da’montae Barnett’s run in for extra points he 

Senior quarterback Jeremy Campione runs toward the endzone for a touchdown.

The Red Hawks had 340 yards rushing, with Nicholls leading the way with 137 and two touchdowns; followed by Campione with 70 and one touchdown; Brunin with 68 yards and two touchdowns ; Barnett with 33; Alex Ream 12; Kyle Hoort 10; David DiPiazza 7; and Nate Elliston 3.

Wayland had 163 yards on the ground, led by Mitch Middleton with 72.

Defensively, Josh Kriekaard led the Red Hawks with five tackles, followed by Logan Petty, Dylan Greenland, and Brennan Porter, who each had four. Fourteen others had 3 tackles and below.

The Post asked Coach Kapolka what he thought the team did well.

“We played well on defense,” he said. “TK is a triple option football team that forced us to play extremely disciplined, and with a few exceptions we were up to the task.”

What does he think they need to improve on?

“Our offensive line play needs to improve moving forward, and we need to do a better job of protecting the ball,” he explained.

What does Kapolka think the Red Hawks need to do to win against Wayland this Friday?

“We need to work on a 1001 little things that go into winning this week.  We have a lot of improving to do,” he said.

Instead of shaking hands after the game, the two teams waved their helmets at one another (due to COVID-19 restrictions).

Wayland fell to the division four state champions Catholic Central last week 44-7, and went 0-9 last season. Cedar Springs has faced them 24 times, going 12-12. The last time they played each other was in 2013, when Wayland won 28-26.

For those subscribing to the NFHS Network (nfhsnetwork.com) you can find the link to stream this Friday’s game at https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/wayland-union-high-school-wayland-mi/gam3ea22a1125.

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