Photo Courtesy of K&R LaLone Photography

The days of downhill running between the tackles with two tight ends are far and few between in football. As most teams have trended toward the fast-paced spread offense, Zeeland West, winners of fifteen in a row, has continued to win with an old-school smashmouth approach. The Dux pulled out a 14-9 win Thursday over Cedar Springs in the lone battle of Top Ten teams in the Remax United Power Poll. Zeeland West had two drives of ten minutes in the second half, taking total control of the game with their ability to run the ball and manage the clock.

Cedar Springs opened the scoring on a field goal of 22 yards by Dustin Shaw with just 2:04 remaining in the first half. The Red Hawks would maintain their 3-0 lead into the half as both sides played tremendous defense.

The Dux received the opening kick of the second half and began a methodical march down the field. Ten minutes later, Aaron Sleeman ran the ball in from a yard out to put Zeeland West in front. Hunter Blauwkamp’s pass to Max Hecht was complete for a two-point conversion and the Dux led 8-3.

With 11:17 left in the game, senior quarterback Collin Alvesteffer used his legs to make a huge play as his 33 yard run reached the end zone to put Cedar Springs back in front. After the PAT was unsuccessful, it was 9-8 Cedar Springs.

Zeeland West once again controlled the line of scrimmage and powered their way down the field. With just under two minutes to play, Aaron Sleeman reached the end zone, his second score of the evening, and the Dux were back in front.

The Dux would win this contest 14-9, their lowest scoring total since September 2010. A traditionally high scoring offense, Zeeland West had never scored 14 points or fewer and won a game, their previous low was 18 in the 2007 playoffs against South Christian.

Cedar Springs showed that they are amongst the better teams in West Michigan as they hung with the defending Division 4 State Champions, and their defensive effort was tremendous. The two lengthy drives wore them down, but they managed to slow down one of the most potent offenses around.

In week two, Zeeland West (1-0) will travel to Mona Shores where their power will take on the Sailors’ speed. For Cedar Springs (0-1), they will try and bounce back when they travel to Sparta and take on the Spartans.


TimeScoreScoring Play
2Q 2:04CS 3-0D.Shaw 22yd FG
3Q 2:00ZW 8-3A.Sleeman 1yd run. (Blauwkamp pass to Hecht 2PT Conv Good.)
4Q 11:17CS 9-8C.Alvesteffer 33yd run. (PAT Failed)
4Q 1:43ZW 14-9A.Sleeman 2yd run. (2PT Conversion Failed)