|Forest Hills Eastern||41|
The stakes were high for the varsity football team last Friday. The entire student population was in the stands, eagerly awaiting the announcement of Homecoming King and Queen. Students and parents who would usually be home came to the game, causing the parking lot to fill and overflow into the soccer fields. The night was warm and humid, starting at 74 degrees, with the occasional leaf falling onto the spectators. As the night progressed, it got colder, but the energy stayed high. The wind was 0-5 MPH – not enough to affect the passes that would soon enough occur.
After the loss against Cedar Springs, Eastern needed a win. Their incentive to do well increased as they ran onto the field: cheers erupted as students and parents alike caught sight of the crimson uniforms. As they ran onto the field, the cheering of the crowd bolstered their confidence and foreshadowed what was to come.
Forest Hills Eastern achieved a 41-19 victory over Ottawa Hills.
At 7:00 pm sharp, the game kicked off with Ottawa Hills’ possession of the ball. After 5:43 minutes, Ottawa Hills ran into the endzone and completed the kick. 0-7.
Eastern now had possession of the ball, and the fun began. In less than two minutes, Caden VandenBerge (‘22) caught a 23-yard pass from Braden Stratbucker (‘22), completing Eastern’s first touchdown of the night. Mars Steenwyk (‘24) made a successful one-point kick. 7-7. Ottowa Hill had the ball for about two minutes before Eastern regained possession at the beginning of the second quarter.
4:42 minutes later, Eastern made another touchdown. Bryson Kuzdzal (‘23) made a 6-yard run into the endzone, and Steenwyk successfully kicked the extra point. 14-7. Ottawa Hills then made a touchdown but failed their extra point. 14-13. Ottawa’s kickoff was caught by Collin Fridsma (‘23) who ran 80 yards to score a touchdown. Mars made yet another successful kick. 21-13. Ottawa Hills then lost the ball after failing to convert on fourth down, handing it right back to Eastern’s offense. For a couple of seconds, at least. Twelve seconds after Eastern gained possession, Ottawa Hills intercepted the ball. They held it until the end of the half, though they didn’t score any points.
In the third quarter, Eastern made a touchdown with a two-yard run after possessing the ball for 3:50 minutes, completed by Max Ferrick (‘25). Steenwyk kicked for an extra point. 28-13. Ottawa Hills responded by scoring a touchdown just minutes after with a run. They then failed to complete a two-point conversion. 28-19.
Both Eastern and Ottawa Hills vyed for a while, with the ball switching possession four times with no touchdowns. First, Eastern ran out of downs. Second, Ottawa Hills did the same: running out of downs. Third, Eastern had the ball until the end of the third quarter, losing it when they punted. Fourth, Ottawa Hills fumbled the ball. Finally. Eastern gained possession and made a touchdown. Stratbucker threw a 47-yard pass to VandenBerge. Steenwyk completed another kick. 35-19.
With an onside kick, Eastern regained possession of the ball only moments after the last touchdown. Ashton Thompson (‘22) made a 53-yard run for a touchdown. The kick was blocked, leaving the final score at 41-19.
In this competitive season, Eastern has played six games. Eastern’s losses may have been disappointing, but they are becoming less frequent. Multiple times, Eastern has scored twice the points of the opposing team. With training and leadership, Forest Hills Eastern will continue to improve. Make sure to drive out to South Christian High School this coming Friday to support Eastern!