The Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars are defending Division 4 State Champions, and their hunt continues this year with their third game of 2020 against the Cedar Springs Red Hawks. In a game that was dominated by GRCC early, Cedar Springs made it a contest before ultimately falling 42-28.

Cedar Springs started with the football in this game, and they drove sixty three yards to get to the GRCC 14. At that point, the Cougars’ defense held strong and forced a turnover on downs. This led to the first touchdown of the night on a pass of twenty one yards from Joey Silveri to Danny Mikolay, capping off an eighty-six yard touchdown drive. This was the lone score in the first quarter.

Up 7-0 already, the Cougars struck once again. Silveri found Jace Williams for his sixth touchdown catch of the 2020 season on a five yard toss. The extra point by Jack Barlow made it a fourteen point contest. Cedar Springs would respond however, as Alex Ream powered across the goal line from four yards out. The two-point conversion by Jeremy Campione brought the Red Hawks within six points.

On the first play from scrimmage after that Cedar Springs touchdown, Silveri found Nolan Zeigler for a forty nine yard touchdown strike to balloon the lead back to thirteen points, a margin they would take to halftime.

Two minutes into the third quarter, GRCC continued to add onto their lead. Nick Hollern got in on the action with a one yard plunge. This score was set up by a sixty yard quarterback keeper by Joey Silveri. Cedar Springs would respond with Aiden Brunin running eighteen yards for the touchdown, and he added the two-point try to make the score 28-16.

Silveri and the Cougars were not done in the third quarter, as he found Nick Hollern for his second touchdown of the night. Barlow’s extra point moved the score to 35-16 after the end of the third.

In the final frame, Cedar Springs started the scoring with a touchdown run by Aiden Brunin. Their first pass attempt of the evening came on the two-point try, which was incomplete, bringing the score to 35-22 with 7:13 to play. The Red Hawks recovered the onside kick, and after overcoming a key fourth down conversion with three minutes to go, Campione plunged across the goal line from the one yard line. After an unsuccessful two-point try, it was 35-28 Cougars with two minutes left.

Cedar Springs once again lined up for an onside kick, and that try did not reach the ten yard threshold, giving the Cougars great field position. Silveri capitalized with a quarterback keeper that went fourteen yards to the end zone for his fifth score of the evening. This all but iced the game with 1:28 to play, as Cedar Springs would need two scores and they were out of timeouts.

The Red Hawks did not score in those final seconds, leaving the final tally at 42-28 in favor of GRCC. The Cougars are now 3-0 in 2020, and they are winners of their last 22 conference games dating back to October 2016 (a 20-3 loss to West Catholic). They will look to improve on those streaks when they travel to Kenowa Hills next Friday night. As for Cedar Springs, they will be challenged once again on Friday. They welcome South Christian (3-0) to town for a league showdown. The Red Hawks will need to win that game to have any chance at a league title this fall. The Cedar Springs and South Christian game will be LIVE on MSR next Friday night.