Your Forest Hills Eastern Hawks lost against the East Grand Rapids Pioneers last Friday by a score of 49 – 14. Overall, the Hawks played to their best abilities, but fell to a better team.
The Hawks won the opening toss and elected to kick off the ball to EGR for the start of the game. EGR returned the kick to their own 43-yard line before being slowed by the Hawks defense. They then ran into the endzone for their first touchdown of the night to bring the score to 7 – 0. EGR had one of their seldom mistakes just right after their ensuing kickoff. The kick was up, and the Hawks set in motion one of their more well-known plays. One person fell back to catch the kick, while at least two others huddled around the receiver and they exchanged the ball and all ran off in different directions. This worked so well, it has led to at least 3 touchdowns this season and yet another against EGR. Number three, Luke Brenner, returned the kick for 95 yards for the Hawks first touchdown of the night. The score came to a 7 – 7 tie, the closest the Hawks came to a lead all night.
The Hawks stopped EGR on their next possession with an interception off of the Pioneers quarterback, David Lime, to hold off another Pioneers touchdown. The Hawks moved down the field just a bit before throwing an interception to EGR, making it so that the entire exchange almost never happened. EGR was able to bring this drive to a touchdown with only 3:51 left in the first quarter, bringing EGR to a touchdown lead at 14 – 7.
EGR’s coaching staff did not like how their last kick resulted in a Hawks touchdown and decided to change things up. When they needed to kick off again after their second touchdown, EGR kicked the ball on the ground to avoid the Hawks’ signature return attempts. This caught the returner off guard and the Hawks only returned the kick to their own 27-yard line. The Hawks got stonewalled by EGR’s defensive line and sacked back to their own 17-yard line to bring up 4th and 20. The Hawks, who had no other option, punted the ball away to EGR for the clock to run out shortly thereafter to end the first quarter with an EGR lead of 14 – 7.
The Hawks were not out of the game yet. They came into the second quarter with a strong start, sacking EGR for ten yards. The Pioneers then took a timeout, the first of the half, to regain themselves. Whatever they had done during that timeout worked. EGR then threw long and found a receiver to set them up for another touchdown, putting the Pioneers up 21 – 7.
The Hawks received the kickoff and were again, stopped quickly by EGR’s massive defensive linemen. The Pioneers had the ball again off of a Hawks punt and quickly ran down the field for their next touchdown of the night to bring the score to 28 – 7. This is where the game ran away from the Hawks. The Hawks, desperate to get back into this game, attempted to convert on fourth down and just could not do it. This gave the Pioneers amazing field position which led to their fifth touchdown of the night. The Hawks became discouraged and frustrated on the sidelines. “I’ve been double covered all night,” said Luke Brenner, vocalizing his frustration. The turnover on downs led EGR to a 35 – 7 lead.
The Hawks gave their defense some reprieve and scored their second touchdown of the night to bring the score to 35 – 14. On the next possession, EGR scored quickly, bringing the score to 42 – 14. By now, understandably, the defense was tired. With 1:19 left in the third quarter, the Hawks threw an interception and passed down the field all the way to the EGR five, and were in danger of scoring. EGR held the Hawks to no gain and the Hawks, needing a score to even have a remote chance of winning, attempted to convert on fourth down, where the Pioneers stopped them and the ball turned over on downs.
EGR put one more nail in the coffin and threw for another touchdown to embarrass the Hawks with a final score of 49 – 14.
The Hawks are at home again next week, hosting the Grand Rapids Christian Eagles, where they look to redeem themselves in the eyes of the conference.