The Cedar Springs Red Hawks and Wayland Wildcats each entered week 9 of the season with 4-4 records. The winner of this OK Gold showdown was guaranteed a spot in next week’s playoffs. The loser, meanwhile, would sweat it out until Sunday to see if they did enough. In a competitive thriller, Cedar Springs used a strong finish to snag a 35-21 victory.

In the first quarter, Cedar Springs took an early lead. Ryan West ripped off a 19-yard run to the end zone near the halfway point. A Rory Schoenborn PAT gave the Red Hawks an early advantage. This was the only scoring play in the opening quarter.

Two minutes into the second, Wayland answered. Terry Sylvester broke free on a sweep play, racing left for a 24-yard touchdown. A Nate Winchel kick evened the score. Cedar Springs would regain the lead late in the half, when West found Ryan Mitchell on a 28-yard passing play.

Cedar Springs would expand their lead to fourteen points, 21-7, when Ryan West got another short rushing touchdown. This lead would not last long, as Wayland roared back. The ‘Cats got another lengthy touchdown run by Sylvester, and followed that up with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Dustin Loomans to Bryce Calkins in the closing seconds of the third quarter.  With one frame to play the game was knotted up at 21.

Just thirty-seven seconds into the quarter, Cedar Springs sprung back ahead. Rory Schoenborn burst through the middle of the Wayland defense for a 65-yard touchdown. With five minutes to play, Mitchell’s one-yard touchdown run sealed the victory.

This game was filled with attacks on the ground. Cedar Springs ran 45 times for 345 yards, while Wayland turned 36 carries into 178 yards. The victors saw Ryan Mitchell (118) and Rory Schoenborn (104) each eclipse the century mark.