The Cedar Springs Red Hawks and South Christian Sailors treated fans to a fantastic regular season finale on Friday night. A playoff tune-up for both clubs, Cedar Springs escaped with a 38-32 victory.
On their opening drive, South Christian found the end zone. Jake DeHaan used his legs for a 24-yard quarterback keeper, giving the Sailors a 7-0 edge. Cedar Springs would respond in a two-minute drive, as Ryan Mitchell raced for a 69-yard score. Aiden Brunin added a two-point conversion to give the Red Hawks a one-point lead. Their lead would extend to nine when Antwuan Nicholls reeled off a 50-yard sweep for a score and Alex Ream ran for the conversion.
Cedar Springs added to their lead when Aiden Brunin used his legs on a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Brunin would complete another eight-point drive with a conversion pass to Carter Falan. South Christian snapped the 24-0 run with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing drive. Chandler VanSolkema ran to the left side of the line, scoring from four yards out. This moved the halftime tally to 24-14 in favor of Cedar Springs.
Early in the third quarter, the Sailors got three points. Nate Brinks booted his third made field goal of the year, a 38-yard kick. Cedar Springs responded on their next scoring drive, as Aiden Brunin capped off the march with a 7-yard quarterback keeper. South Christian would move back within six when Chandler VanSolkema returned to the end zone in the finals econds of the third quarter.
With eight minutes to play, Cedar Springs padded their lead. Alex Ream rumbled across the goal line from three yards out. Coach Gus Kapolka sent out the offense on the conversion, and Ryan West converted the try. The Red Hawks held a 38-24 lead after this drive.
South Christian responded with a touchdown drive of their own to move back within a score. Jake DeHaan found Jace DeMann on a 24-yard score. On the conversion, Ashton Fennema tossed a pass to Dehaan. Trailing by six with three minutes to go, South Christian was unable to draw even.
It was a run-filled contest between the two programs. Cedar Springs racked up 433 rushing yards as a team. Ryan Mitchell led the way with 197 yards, while Antuwan Nicholls added 115. Jake DeHaan led South Christian’s rushing attack with 191 of the team’s 212 rushing yards. DeHaan also completed 19/26 passes for 203 yards.
Cedar Springs finishes the regular season 7-2 with losses against Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Rockford. South Christian finishes 6-3. Both teams will learn their playoff paths on Sunday evening.