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Hawks Fall to Grand Rapids Christian, 35 – 21

The Forest Hills Eastern Hawks worked to bounce back from a devastating blowout loss to East Grand Rapids last week, only to fall short to finish out a two-game homestand.

Before the game started, the start time was pushed up from 7pm to 5pm Friday night due to weather concerns and fear of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus. Despite this, the Hawks were out for vengeance forr last years’ loss to Grand Rapids Christian and to redeem themselves after last week’s loss to EGR.

The Hawks received the opening kickoff and began the back-and-forth that would be the first quarter. Punt after punt led to the only noteworthy event in the first quarter: a turnover on downs for the GRC offense, just ten yards away from the endzone. The first quarter would soon end thereafter, tied at zero.

GRC quickly picked up their act to begin the second quarter and ran for a touchdown in just 1:18 of gametime, bringing the score to 7 – 0 for an early GRC lead. The Hawks bounced back for their own touchdown just two minutes later, tying the game at 7. GRC primarily ran the ball for the duration of the game, some for long plays such as their second touchdown of the night. The Hawks again responded on the next drive with their own touchdown pass to number 88, Grant Lancaster. GRC returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, ending the half with a lead of 21 – 14.

Grant Lancaster (88) reaches for a pass to run it through defenders for a touchdown. Photo credit: Benjamin Christenson.

GRC received the ball to begin the second half, leading to a turnover on downs on their own 29 yard line. The Hawks, on their next drive, took the ball down the field and turned over on downs themselves on the four yard line. GRC, with the help of one long run and two penalties on back-to-back plays, were brought to Eastern’s redzone. Before GRC could score, lightning delayed the game near 8pm, to be continued at 9am the next day.

GRC continued their drive from the night before and scored easily on a tired Hawks defense, bringing GRC’s lead to 28 – 14 with a minute and a half left in the third quarter. The Hawks’ offense was ready to roll that morning and took the ball down the field in a quick manner for Luke Brenner to score the Hawks’ third touchdown of the game to close the gap at 28 – 21.

Luke Brenner (3) picks a ball out of the air for a twenty yard gain. Photo credit: Benjamin Christenson.

The Hawks held GRC to punting in the latter half of the fourth quarter, in an attempt to retake the lead. On the Hawks’ second to last drive, they turned over the ball on downs with 3:40 left in the game. GRC took the Hawks turnover and easily ran into the endzone for their fifth touchdown of the game and brought their lead up to 35 – 21 with only 37 seconds left in regulation. The Hawks, on a last ditch effort, threw deep with 11 seconds left in regulation in hopes of closing the lead. The ball landed in the hands of a GRC defensemen and they kneeled out the clock for a win on the road.

The Hawks look for their first win in two weeks as they travel to Wayland Union for their last game before Homecoming against Sparta.