The Wayland Wildcats were looking to shake off a surprising defeat at the hands of Middleville last week, as they welcomed undefeated Forest Hills Eastern into town. Though the Wildcats struck first, it would be the Hawks who got the last laugh in a 35-16 win.

In the game’s opening minute, Cameron Bogart sprung free. The Wildcats’ ballcarrier outpaced the Hawks, racing 79 yards to the end zone. Forest Hills Eastern would respond with a quick two-minute scoring drive. Matt Stotts’ 45-yard touchdown carry evened the count at seven.

Before the first quarter was complete, Forest Hills Eastern would take the lead. Bryson Kuzdzal reeled off another long touchdown run, this time a nice 69-yard maneuver through the Wayland defense.

In the second quarter, the defenses tightened the ballgame. With three minutes left in the half, Wayland was able to draw even. Maverick Daley bulldozed his way into the end zone, a 2-yard carry. With 47 seconds to play in the half, Brendan Thompson aired it out to Collin Fridsma. The duo’s 41-yard passing play gave the Hawks a 21-14 halftime lead.

Thompson and Fridsma would provide a lengthier spark late in the third quarter. With three minutes left in that frame, the pair connected on a 61-yard touchdown, giving FHE a 28-14 cushion.

Wayland would secure two points on a safety midway through the fourth quarter, but Bryson Kuzdzal iced the victory with a 22-yard touchdown run.

There were 622 yards of combined offense in this game, with 500 on the ground. Bryson Kuzdzal, the OK Gold’s leader in rushing touchdowns, added to his count with two more in this win. He turned 18 carries into 178 yards. Brendan Thompson completed just three passes, but they all went to Fridsma for 117 yards and two scores.

In defeat, Wayland quarterback Dustin Loomans passed for just five yards. He was the Wildcats’ leading rusher with 88 yards on 14 carries. Cameron Bogart (82) and Maverick Daley (71) added to the team total.

Next week, Forest Hills Eastern (4-0) will get their chance to slay the giant that is Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Wayland (2-2) is hoping to stop their slide when they face Kenowa Hills.